# Problem Solving Strategies Display

In some problems though, where there are more variables, it may not be clear at first which way to change the guessing.2 Act It Out We put two strategies together here because they are closely related. In the Farmyard problem, the children might take the role of the animals though it is unlikely that you would have 87 children in your class!But if there are not enough children you might be able to press gang the odd teddy or two. It is an effective strategy for demonstration purposes in front of the whole class.

In some problems though, where there are more variables, it may not be clear at first which way to change the guessing.2 Act It Out We put two strategies together here because they are closely related. In the Farmyard problem, the children might take the role of the animals though it is unlikely that you would have 87 children in your class!But if there are not enough children you might be able to press gang the odd teddy or two. It is an effective strategy for demonstration purposes in front of the whole class.

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This is because the participants are so engrossed in the mechanics of what they are doing that they don’t see through to the underlying mathematics.

However, because these children are concentrating on what they are doing, they may in fact get more out of it and remember it longer than the others, so there are pros and cons here. Generally speaking, any object that can be used in some way to represent the situation the children are trying to solve, is equipment.

In our experience, children need to be encouraged and helped to use equipment. This may be because it gives them a better representation of the problem in hand.

Also, if they’re a little older, they may feel that using equipment is only 'for babies'.

Common Problem Solving Strategies We have provided a copymaster for these strategies so that you can make posters and display them in your classroom.

It consists of a page per strategy with space provided to insert the name of any problem that you come across that uses that particular strategy (Act it out, Draw, Guess, Make a List).We have found that this kind of poster provides good revision for children. Through these links, children can see that mathematics is not only connected by skills but also by processes.We now look at each of the following strategies and discuss them in some depth. If they can also check that the guess fits the conditions of the problem, then they have mastered guess and check.If you are not careful, they may try to use it all the time.As problems get more difficult, other strategies become more important and more effective.On the other hand, it can also be cumbersome when used by groups, especially if a largish number of students is involved.We have, however, found it a useful strategy when students have had trouble coming to grips with a problem.However, sometimes when children are completely stuck, guessing and checking will provide a useful way to start and explore a problem.Hopefully that exploration will lead to a more efficient strategy and then to a solution.In this site we have linked the problem solving lessons to the following groupings of problem solving strategies.As the site develops we may add some more but we have tried to keep things simple for now.