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Problem Solving Emphasis
Problem Solving Emphasis
Mike Scholten
Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Problem Solving Emphasis

Students often ask me when are we going to use this or what is the point of learning this if I’m not going to be a math teacher or engineer.  This question got “under my skin” when I first started teaching. My reaction use to be one of irritation or avoidance.  

Today, I also ask this question.  What I believe is a decent answer is simply this: we learn this to be problem solvers.  I desire my students to have the tools to problem solve. In my class my students will use strategies to solve problems, not just memorize formulas.  These include making a drawing, looking for patterns, construction a table, guessing and checking, working backwards, acting it out, and solving a similar but simpler problem.

Pictured is a small groups drawing of what the distributive property would look like involving a garden.