Q&A #242

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Problem-solving

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From: sarah <craig.harris@xtra.co.nz>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 1999122917:37:43
Subject: Re: problem solving and lets actually say something

You got it.

Kids, and adults need to learn skills.  I teach using a 4 step method
1 Find Out what the problem actually says.  Sift out important
information and unimportant information.  You must be able to state
the question in your own words before you move on .
2 Choose a strategy.  There are many.  I usually teach 4 each year
such as Guess and Check, Look for a pattern, Act it out, and Logical
3. Solve the Problem.  Note you may decide to change your strategy
once you start this process.  That's great.
4. Look Back.  Check the solution and then answer the problem in terms
of how the question was asked.  

I realised that Learning to ask the useful questions was a very
important skill in itself and needed to be taught and practiced.

This style of teaching brought very good results with students.  Note
I taught this to the very able students and they still needed to be
taught the skills.


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