Four Step Plan For Problem Solving

George Polya was a European-born scholar and mathematician who moved to the U. When considering the his classroom experience of teaching mathematics, he noticed that students were not presented with a view of mathematics that excited and energized them.

I know that I have felt this way many times in my teaching career and have often asked: How can I make this more engaging and yet still maintain rigor?

As a last resort, read the solution, but not until you have spent a long time just thinking about the problem, making notes, trying things out and looking at resources that can help you.

If you do end up reading the solution, then come back to the same problem a few days or weeks later to have another go at it.

It is from adults that they get the idea that math is dry, boring, and unrelated to their lives.

Despite what children may or may not hear about math, I focus on making instruction exciting and showing my students that math applicable to their lives.

Polya specifically wrote about problem-solving at the high school mathematics level.

For those of us teaching students in the elementary and middle school levels, finding ways to apply Polya’s problem-solving strategies as he intended forces us to rethink the way we teach.

The questions are divided into four phases, based loosely on those found in George Pólya's 1945 book "How to Solve It".

Understanding the problem Finally, don't forget that STEP questions are designed to take at least 30-45 minutes to solve, and to start with they will take you longer than that.


Comments Four Step Plan For Problem Solving

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