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However, in the same ways that we teach strategies for other areas of maths, we can also teach strategies to solve maths problems. The first and most important step is to read the problem carefully to understand what you're asked to find out and what information you have been given. They can then work out the solution from the diagram that has been drawn.When solving maths problems, students should be encouraged to follow a general problem solving procedure. Underlining the important information is also useful so you have all the important numbers/facts to hand. The guess and check strategy can be helpful for many types of problems.Setting up a table and filling in the information given in the question is a great way to organize things and provide a visual so that the “rule” of the pattern can be determined.
Making a list is a strategy that will help students sort out the information that has been given in the problem.
Once the students can see all of the possibilities for the solution, they can then attempt to solve the problem more easily.
As I mentioned when I discussed problem solving by making a list, finding a pattern can be immensely helpful and save a lot of time when working on a word problem.
Sometimes, however, a student may not recognize the pattern right away, or may get bogged down with all the details of the question.
This removes the tedious work of completing a table, which is especially nice if a lot of computation is involved.
But a table is also great for kids who struggle with math, because it gives them a way to get to the solution even if they have a hard time finding the pattern, or aren’t confident that they are using the “rule” correctly.Using a table is a good way to sort out and organise the information that has been given in the question.The information that has been set out in the table will hopefully lead students to the correct solution.When this happens the students will be able to make the problem more simple by dividing it into smaller and easiest steps, such as rewording the problem using smaller numbers.These strategies are really useful in helping to solve maths problems.This problem solving unit covering “Make a List or Table” is one of 9 units focusing on 8 problem solving strategies plus a series of Mixed Problems in which students decide on the most appropriate strategy to solve each problem.The colorful graphics in each unit are specially designed to interest and motivate the students to try the problems.Anyone who has taught maths for any length of time will know how difficult it can be to teach pupils to solve maths problems out of context. There are a number of strategies that can be used to solve maths problems, as follows: Creating a diagram can help mathematicians to picture the problem and find the solution.Present pupils with a familiar setting or a sum that they've tackled before then they're usually fine, but turn it into an unfamiliar problem then it's a different matter. To create a diagram, the problem must be read carefully and the information that has been given to them in the question drawn into the diagram.Once the pattern has been identified, the students can predict what will happen next and then continue the pattern to find the correct solution.Working backwards is an excellent strategy to use when the final outcome of the problem has already been given.