Q&A #272

Problem-solving difficulties

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From: Rick (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Apr 09, 1998 at 17:12:59
Subject: Re: Problem-solving difficulties

Bernadette - One thing that may help is the use of manipulatives to grasp what the problem is. Manipulatives can be anything - beans, checkers, anything that can help "display" the problem. It seems that the issue is not the size of the numbers, but the process. However, in many cases it is good to try to simplify the problem, and then build more complexity as confidence builds. This process is quite similar, if not equal to, mathematical modeling. Ask your child to verbalize what the problem is about. Ask her to identify the important items (those that might make a difference in the results). Then use manipulatives of some type to demonstrate the process going on. When she arrives at some answer, see if it makes sense. If it does, quit; if not, begin the process again. Let me know how your child is doing. Good luck! Rick

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