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!


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