Monday, April 13, 2015

Developing Our Problem Solving Skills

As the dreaded testing season looms closer and closer, the need to get my students actively problem solving every day has become almost an obsession for me!

Depending on the complexity of the task, and the ability of my students, I introduce each problem differently.  Sometimes, I give all of the students the task with little to no instruction, and let them plug away at it.
Other times I will provide a warm-up small group lesson for my struggling learners.
For this particular challenge, I introduced them to modeling with manipulatives.  They were then able to provide support to their whole group in using manipulatives to solve the problem.  This always gives them a big boost of confidence when they are able to be the "experts".

When the problem appears to be challenging for all of the students, I often display a similar problem on the Smart Board and we problem solve it together.  I then give them the problem to work in small groups.


Problem solving is always better with popcorn isn't it??
I will be creating a larger product this summer using these problems and more, but for now, I have a freebie for you that includes ALL of these problems.  You can download it from my TpT store here.
If you download the freebie, I would love any feedback or suggestions you have for the final product.
Thank you!

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