MERN Forum Presentation id=801
MERN Forum # 52
Session: 2A
Author: Lam Nguyen, Sheri Temple & Mike Kattenfeld
Affiliation: Winnipeg School Division
Title : Encouraging the development of problem solving skills in middle and high school
Description : Problem solving is an integral part of math education. The ability of our students to solve problems in varied and unique ways is a goal for math educators. While most people can identify key characteristics of successful problem solvers, it is a difficult task to develop these in students. Successful problem solvers have an interest in solving problems, can apply their math knowledge, and have the perseverance to work through the problem or task. Two different approaches were taken. One strategy was to directly teach specific problem solving strategies (ie. counting with hand shakes, algebraic reasoning with heads and legs) and measure student achievement on published math contests. This is a preliminary research project related to problem solving education in a middle years class. The second strategy was to present students with problem solving activities designed to foster conversations about math. Through this dialogue, students with varying levels of math understanding could enter in to the task. The end goal was to have students contribute and participate in math conversations in order to develop their problem solving and understanding.
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