Problem Solving at Home

Problem Solving Skills

One of the most important goals of education in mathematics is to teach children how to approach non-routine problems. Loosely called "problem solving", learning this set of skills allows children to take an unfamiliar situation, identify the important details and information, and come up with a way to work out a solution to the problem.

The Strategies

There are several strategies that help children make sense of situations and formulate a plan to solve them. The purpose of this page is to describe these strategies, so that parents can explicitly mention them when they help coach a child through a tricky problem at home. The strategies discussed on this page are Guess and Check, Draw it Out, Organize with a Table/Chart, Work Backwards, and Make it Simpler.

Want Activities to Practice? Contact me!

If you are interested in problem sets that explicitly target these skills for kids in grades K-2, e-mail me at katie.e.chin at gmail and I will send you the materials we used in past years during Math Club. (We are not offering these evening Math Club sessions this year.)

Guess and Check