For many students Maths is hard. There I said it – Maths can be hard. When I was in Primary School we were taught one way of solving tricky equations and that was just the way we had to do it. No questions asked. Even if it didn’t make sense.
Over the years the method of solving problems has changed. However, many Mums and Dads will understandably always revert to the trusty, tried and true ‘carry the tens place and then add down’. However this doesn’t always work.
Looking at this chart, it appears there is more than way to solve a problem!
For our students to be effective problem solvers, we need to teach them that there’s more than one way to solve a problem and to provide the strategies for them to do this. I wish my teachers had done this for me! It’s vital that we provide the tools to encourage students to be effective problem solvers.
I made this chart for my students to use as a reference. During the first two terms of the year, I specifically teach the different strategies that students can use to solve problems. We use this card to help us make conscious decisions of which strategy to use when, and what works best for us. This has given even my strugglers more confidence and independence in giving tricky Maths a go!
If you’d like your free copy of the reference card, please click on the picture below.