Problem Solving Strategies

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Teaching Problem-Solving Strategies
From Text written by Daniel T. Dolan and James Williamson
Problem Solving Strategies
GUESS, CHECK, and REVISE
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Guess the answer to the problem and then Check to see if your guess is close to the correct answer.
To use this strategy you must be willing to make a guess.
Construct a Table
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Make a table by identifying the unknowns in the problem, labeling the table correctly and making
entries for the unknowns.
Write a number sentence for the table.
Make an Organized List
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Construct an organized list containing all the possibilities for a given situation.
Use the process of elimination to exclude specific cases
Look for a Patterns
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Identify the pattern and determine the missing terms in a sequence
Construct a sequence by utilizing a rule
Make a Model (Draw a Picture/Diagram, Use Objects or Act it Out)
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Uses physical objects or drawings to help solve problems
Decide on a model that is appropriate for the problem and use in solving the problem
Solve a Simpler (or similar) Problem (Break Into Smaller Pieces)
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Change the form so that the problem becomes more understandable, a method of solution is more
easily discovered, or the solution process is facilitated
Use different numbers or separate the problem into distinct sub-problems
Work Backwards
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The idea is that certain problems with several steps resulting in a known value can most easily be
solved by working backwards one step at a time. (“Mike It Simpler” by Carol Meyer and Tom Sallee)
Write an Equation
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Represent the unknown with variable
Translate the problem into an equation and then solve for the unknown.
Lenny VerMaas
[email protected]
http://manila.esu6.org/lvermaas
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