Approaches and methodologies

Problem-solving strategies

Problem-solving strategies must be varied and the children given ample opportunity to try them out concretely, orally or in a written task. Many children fail at mathematics because their mathematical vocabulary is insufficient to cope with the terminology of problems. Development of the necessary vocabulary in a consistent manner throughout the classes must be stressed. Some strategies that can be taught to children are:

  • Constructing a model
  • Drawing a diagram to illustrate a problem
  • Making a chart or table of the information
  • Looking for patterns in a problem
  • Making a guess and testing it out
  • Breaking the problem down and solving each part
  • Writing a number sentence for the problem
  • Using appropriate equipment to solve the problem, for example balance, measuring instrument, calculator, blocks
  • Solving a simpler version of the problem, for example using smaller numbers