The Problem Solving Process ~ By Jessica Davis

posted Nov 1, 2013, 2:45 AM by
The Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice stress the importance of strong problem solving and reasoning abilities to develop conceptual understand. Problem solving skills and strategies are taught and reinforced in problem solving lessons throughout the year. Additionally, through class discussions, students are learning that there are multiple ways to solve a problem and that getting wrong answers are helpful as part of the learning process.

In math class we break the problem solving process down into three parts, each with guiding questions for the students to ask themselves when progressing through a problem. These are also great questions for you, as a parent, to use when helping your child on a tricky math homework problem.

The Problem Solving Process

Read and Understand:

What do you know?

What are you being asked to find?

Plan and Solve

What strategy will you use?

Can you show the problem? How will you solve the problem? What is the answer?

Look Back and Check

Did I check my work?

Is my answer reasonable?

Below is a list of common problem solving strategies students have been using in class to:

Show the Problem

⇒ Draw a Picture
⇒ Make an organized list
⇒ Make a table
⇒ Make a Graph
⇒ Act it out/Use objects

Work towards a Solution

⇒ Look for a Pattern
⇒ Try, Check and Revise 
⇒ Write an Equation
⇒ Use Reasoning
⇒ Work Backwards
⇒ Solve a Simpler Problem

Happy Solving!