We can’t just give them one strategy because one strategy doesn’t work with every single problem.
So we teach them multiple strategies, so they can choose to best one for each problem.
Through research and seeing how my students process their thoughts, I have put together a list of 16 problem solving strategies.
Math Problem Solving Strategies
~ Draw a picture
~ Look for a pattern
~ Guess, check, and revise
~ Make a table or chart
~ Make it simpler
~ Make an organized list
~ Use logical reasoning
~ Work backwards
~ Act it out
~ Use a model
~ Use a number line
~ Part part whole
~ Use key words
~ Write a number sentence
~ Use objects or manipulatives
~ Make a flow chart
To teach these to my students, I show them a problem that would fit well for each strategy, and then we solve the problem together using that strategy. We do these in their notebooks, so they always have them to look back to.
I also created posters for each problem solving strategy to hang up in my classroom. Here are a few of them. I think they turned out pretty cute. You can find them HERE.
I included a half sheet for students to glue into their notebooks and a sheet where students can tell what their favorite strategies are.
To read more about WHY I believe problem solving posters are essential in the math classroom, read my post HERE.
Happy problem solving!
Oh, and by the way….I won’t be able to blog for over a week. I’m going on a cruise to Key West and the Bahamas!