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Critical thinking is a key component to solving word problems!
As I introduce each strategy, I give students a worksheet based specifically on that particular strategy.
For example, on the day I introduce Word Backward, we will complete one Word Backward worksheet together, and then students will complete one with a partner or independently.
However, even if you don’t use the packet, you should still be able to gain some useful tips from this blog post!
I eventually add Write an Equation to the list, but I typically delay that strategy a bit until I focus on multiple representations in math problem solving.
As students learn and practice the different problem solving strategies, they also add them to their math interactive notebooks.
They can reference the examples any time throughout the year.A plumber has to connect a pipe from a storage tank at the corner, S, of the roof to a tap at the diagonally opposite corner, T, in the figure below.Find the number of paths for the pipe if the pipe can only run along the edges of walls A, B, or roof C.Throughout the year, students have to apply the strategies to their math tasks within each unit, so there is constant reinforcement of each strategy.Teaching these strategies at the beginning of the school year is a great way to prepare students for what I call “Struggle Time”.However, I also believe that some problem solving strategies may need to be explicitly taught to students, especially students who lack a repertoire of problem solving skills.Toward the beginning of the school year, I like to introduce five different problem solving strategies using the printables from my Problem Solving Strategies pack in Tp T.Try the given examples, or type in your own problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations.Help your students learn how to overcome issues independently by integrating problem-solving skills into your lesson plans.Occasionally, I’d rather use task cards than a traditional worksheet, so I also made a task card version of the problem solving worksheets. Once students are more comfortable with the problem solving strategies, I will give them problems where they have to determine which strategy to use to best solve the problem.I’ve found that this is a good scaffolding step for students.