Problem of the Week

Fall 2013

Each week I post a problem of the week.  It is on a poster in the hall, and there are copies in an envelope that students can take to work on at home.  I encourage children to work on these with family members.  If you want to work with your child, here are some tips for how to support your child's problem-solving skills:

ASK...DON'T SHOW!  Children are natural learners.  When they discover things on their own, they "own" their learning.  Try not to show your child an easy way of solving the problem.  Instead, ask questions that will encourage your child to figure out the solution.  

Problem Solving strategies:

Be sure you understand what the problem is asking.  Reread it and state it in your own words.

Look for patterns

Guess and check: If you have no idea where to start, just try something and see what happens.  If your answer is way too large or way too small, you will know what to try next

Make a picture or use a model

Try using simpler numbers.  If you can solve a similar problem with simpler numbers, then look at what you did and try it with the larger numbers.

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