Problem Solving Strategies

problem solving labels and postersWe've been using these mathematical problem solving strategies for a while now, but it's only just recently that we decided to try them as a set of display posters.

We tried a number of varieties, and they all seemed to work well. Here's the first, focussing on the four phases of problem solving:

problem solving strategies

Problem Solving - Four Phases

 We've found this useful as a classroom label; but also, printed on card and used as a desk resource. Children used a counter and placed it on each section of the card as they worked through each problem. This seemed to help them really focus on what they were doing - it also made it easier for the teacher to 'see where the children were'... which made intervention more purposeful.

 

Next, we looked more deeply at the strategies to use when attacking a problem and offer the following 10 strategies as classroom prompts or board labels. Clearly, different problems require different strategies, so it's more a 'pick and choose' than a process. With this resource we returned to the mathstick characters as icons (and decoration) for each strategy.

Look for patterns

Problem Solving - 10 Strategies

The mathstick faces on the 'Strategies' lables were popular, so we revisited the first label/poster and redesigned it for younger children:

 

problem solving phases

Problem Solving - Four Phases with Expressions

 

The first two items are on the first pdf download, the second set is a separate attachment. Both of them appear below this post. If you find any of these useful please let us know.

  

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mhairis's picture

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THESE

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THESE POSTERS I HAVE BEEN LOOKING EVERYWHERE FOR SOMETHING LIKE THIS!  
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C Utberg's picture

Thank you for sharing this

Thank you for sharing this marvellous resource! I work with students who have language and learning difficulties and I was looking for some posters that would help me teach children HOW to solve problems by teaching them the process and the strategies. These posters are wonderfully simple and clear. I love that they are not too 'busy' with too much information. Bless you for sharing.
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johdu's picture

Very many thanks for your

Very many thanks for your kind comments. It is always a pleasure to hear that our maths ideas and resources are so well received and respected. Thank you again. I hope they work well for you.

John

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Tina09's picture

Used the simple 4 strategies

Used the simple 4 strategies labels on desks in one off cover lesson with Y5 who've not done a great deal of problem solving... Labels were a really useful support in the lesson opener with cubes as 'markers' during tasks. Quick visual feedback for me & seemed to help pairs stay focussed. Will definitely use again! Thanks.
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johdu's picture

Thank you for the feedback.

Thank you for the feedback. I'm glad the idea of using markers to help children show which 'process' they were working on was useful. We found it very helpful and, as you say, it kept pairs of children focussed together. Cheers.
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Phebe's picture

Thank you.

Thank you.
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