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Teaching Problem Solving Strategies with a Maths Toolbox

Thanks to Scott @ mytopten.com.au

Teaching children to become problem solvers is one of the most beneficial things, we as teachers, can ever do. The ability to look at a complex problem and have an array of strategies to assist you in solving it, is arguably one of the highest ranking tools for the 21stcentury child. Think about it for a while? Where have you seen children being problem solvers? Where in life, have you had to be a problem solver?

As I was talking to a friend last night, they were telling me about a problem that they were currently having. The problem was money-based and they couldn’t see how they could solve it. I asked them what problem solving strategies they were taught at school and the response was “none”. I was astonished! How could a 30 year old male in today’s society not be taught any problem solving skills. I then went on to tell my friend about the maths toolbox and how we were using it to teach children how to be effective problem solvers. We then worked on ‘Breaking it down into smaller parts’ and he automatically was able to identify one possible solution.

There are thirteen components to the Maths Toolbox. Each should be modelled how to use and then given time to practise with a similar problem. I have linked to examples that may assist you in teaching them.

So here it is…

The Maths Toolbox