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Understanding the Problem
What does this mean?
What do they want?
Does it have to be that way?
Do I need to figure that out?
How does this situation work?
Is there another way to think of it?
How will I know if this is true?
What is a good way to express that?
When is this true?
From the strategies:
What guess can I make?
How would I check if my answer was wrong?
What makes this problem hard? How could I make this simpler?
What must be true? What might be true? What can't be true?
What are different ways I can represent this situation?
What cases can I think of?
What model can I make for this situation?
What am I missing? Am I done?:
How did I know that? Could it be different?
What are the ways I know to get this kind of info or to do this? Have I really tried them all? Really?
How might this be different than the kind of situation I've seen before? How would I deal with that or know if it matters?
How does the stuff that I notice and wonder connect to what I have to figure out?
Is there another way I could say what I'm trying to figure out, based on my noticings and wonderings?
What do I need to figure out before I can solve the problem?
What counts as an answer? Do I have an answer that is sort of good enough?
What would it take to make it better?
Reflection questions:
What questions did you ask yourself that led to new ideas and things to do that helped you find a solution?
What kinds of questions are those? Can you give them a name or organize them so that you remember to use them next time you need them?


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The Math Forum is a research and educational enterprise of the Drexel University School of Education.The Math Forum is a research and educational enterprise of the Drexel University School of Education.