Problem Solving

This page is about Problem Solving and Mathematical Reasoning.

Below, you can see how the curriculum materials that I use to teach mathematical reasoning have used ideas expressed by G. Polya in his book How to Solve It.

Everyday Mathematics

1. Understand the problem.
2. Plan what to do.
3. Carry out the plan.
4. Look back.

The Problem Solver

1. Find Out
2. Choose a Strategy
3. Solve It
4. Look Back

Math Steps

1. Understand
2. Decide
3. Solve
4. Look Back

How to Solve It

1. Understand the problem
2. Devise a plan
3. Carry out the plan
4. Look back

1. What is unknown? What is known? What are we trying to find?
2. Have you seen this type of problem before? Do you know a strategy you could try?
3. Carry out the plan
4. Check your work as you carry out your plan. Did you find what you were trying to find? Could you find the solution a different way?

Strategies and Plans

  • Draw a Picture or Diagram
  • Make an Organized List
  • Act It Out
  • Make a Table or Chart
  • Write an Equation
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