Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Problem SolvingSession 03 OverviewTab atab btab ctab dtab eReference
Part A

Observing Student Problem Solving
  Introduction | Which Group Paid More? | Problem Reflection #1 | Sharing-Division Word Problem | Problem Reflection #2 | Classroom Practice | Observe a Classroom | Summary | Your Journal
"Students who can efficiently and accurately multiply but who cannot identify situations that call for multiplication are not well prepared. Unless students can solve problems, the facts, concepts, and procedures they know are of little use. The goal of school mathematics should be for all students to become increasingly able and willing to engage with and solve problems."

(NCTM, 2000, p. 182)


New mathematical ideas and skills can often be introduced through problem-solving situations related to students' everyday experiences. When their curiosity is aroused, students are more likely to sustain their attention, think on their own, and listen closely to the ideas of others. Such lessons make it possible from the outset to develop understanding of the usefulness of a new concept or skill.

We will begin with two examples of student work for you to consider. The students are working on a question that people commonly encountered when they're grocery shopping, or planning for a party. As you observe the students, think about the specific mathematical ideas they encounter while solving the problem.

Next  Observe student work

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