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 C

Defining Problem Solving
  Introduction | Connecting to Other Problem-Solving Experiences | Teacher's Role | Monitor and Reflect on Problem Solving | Providing Rich Problems | Your Journal
"Good problems can inspire the exploration of important mathematical ideas, nurture persistence, and reinforce the need to understand and use various strategies, mathematical properties, and relationships. Such habits are of value not only in the mathematics classroom, but also in formal and informal learning and work environments throughout life."

(NCTM, 2000, p. 182)


Young children naturally solve problems in their daily lives and can be encouraged to do so by parents and teachers. For example, they may want to figure out how long they'll need to save their allowance in order to buy a particular toy, or how to divide a pizza equally among all the guests at a birthday party. In partnership with an older sibling or an adult, they often can solve their own problems long before encountering similar problems in the classroom. As teachers introduce new topics in the classroom, they can capitalize on children's natural curiosity. As we've seen, problem solving involves much more than solving word or story problems that accompany a new skill or concept in a textbook. True problem-solving tasks occur in a context where the solution path is not readily apparent; students have to identify the problem, decide on the solution method, and then implement it.

Next  Defining the Problem-Solving Standard

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