1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

How are high school teachers helping their students make sense of problems? How are they helping them learn to persevere?

How can students be helped to:

  • explain to themselves the meaning of a problem?
  • look for entry points to a problem’s solution?
  • analyze givens, constraints, relationships, and goals?
  • make conjectures about the form and meaning of the solution?
  • plan a solution pathway rather than simply jumping into a solution attempt?
  • consider analogous problems, and try special cases and simpler forms of the original problem in order to gain insight into its solution?
  • monitor and evaluate their progress and change course if necessary?

The CCSS states:
Mathematically proficient students check their answers to problems using a different method, and they continually ask themselves, “Does this make sense?” They can understand the approaches of others to solving complex problems and identify correspondences between different approaches.

What are you doing to help students develop this practice? What makes it hard? What challenges are you encountering?