Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup
Teaching Math Home   Sitemap
Session Home Page
Problem SolvingSession 03 Overviewtab atab btab ctab dtab eReference



Problem solving is an integral part of mathematics learning. Students should regularly work on tasks where the solution path is not readily apparent and where solving the problem requires more than just merely applying a familiar procedure. "Solving problems is not only a goal of learning mathematics but also a major means of doing so. Students should have frequent opportunities to formulate, grapple with, and solve complex problems that require a significant amount of effort and should then be encouraged to reflect on their thinking" (NCTM, 2000, p. 52). As students think about new problems, they not only learn how to solve similar ones, they can also develop new skills and ideas.

Learning Objectives

This session shows you how to help students do the following:

  • Learn new mathematical ideas through problem solving
  • Develop and use different strategies for solving problems
  • Make connections between problems with similar mathematical content
  • Reflect on the relative effectiveness of various problem-solving approaches

NCTM Problem-Solving Standard

Instructional programs . . . should enable all students to --

  • Build new mathematical knowledge through problem solving
  • Solve problems that arise in mathematics and in other contexts
  • Apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve problems
  • Monitor and reflect on the process of mathematical problem solving

Principles and Standards of School Mathematics (NCTM, 2000). For more information on this Process Standard, see the NCTM Web site


Begin  Observe a math problem

    Teaching Math Home | Grades 3-5 | Problem Solving | Site Map | © |  

© Annenberg Foundation 2017. All rights reserved. Legal Policy