Resource 1: Why problem solving is important
Background information / subject knowledge for teacher
- adds enjoyment and interest to mathematics lessons;
- helps pupils gain confidence in their mathematical ability;
- helps pupils see the interaction between mathematics and everyday life;
- helps pupils value mathematical learning;
- improves communication skills in mathematics;
- develops the process of making and testing hypotheses;
- develops abstract thinking.
Strategies for solving problems
- Draw a picture or diagram.
- Make a table.
- Make a list.
- Look for a pattern.
- Guess and check.
- Say the problem in a different way.
- Look at all possibilities systematically.
- Work backwards.
- Solve a simpler problem with fewer variables.
- Explore the role of each variable in turn by fixing the others.
- Explore any previous similar problems.
- Look for the ‘deep’ features.