Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Problem SolvingSession 03 Overviewtab atab btab ctab dTab eReference
Part E

Evaluating Problem Solving
  Make a Lesson Plan | Summing Up the Session | Final Journal


An effective problem-solving lesson should include several stages:

  • Stage 1: Introduce the Problem
  • Stage 2: Present the Problem
  • Stage 3: Students Work on the Problem
  • Stage 4: Students Share Their Approaches
  • Stage 5: Summarize the Lesson

In the lessons you viewed, you saw the teacher introduce the problem (Stage 1) by first asking questions that enabled students to review their previous experience with the mathematical concepts. The teacher then presented the problem to the class (Stage 2), and students began to work (Stage 3) -- either individually, with a partner, or in groups.

What wasn't as prominent, but is nonetheless a key component of an effective lesson, is Stage 4: Students share their approaches, strategies and solutions, ideally showing their work and including a written or oral explanation of their problem-solving processes. The teacher must carefully craft the direction of this discussion. Finally, in Stage 5, the teacher summarizes the problem-solving lesson and reviews what students learned.

You will now use the information you learned in this session to plan a lesson for one of your classes. Remember, a good problem is one where a method to reach a solution is not readily apparent. Select a problem that might be solved by any one of several strategies or a combination of strategies. Students should build on their previous knowledge as they begin to solve the problem, but a critical part of the solution process is the extension of their understanding of the mathematical concepts developed in the problem.

Use a problem you teach in your subject area, or one from the Learning Math Online course.

After you have created your lesson plan, Use the Classroom Checklist (an Adobe PDF document) to evaluate it.

next  Finish the session

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