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Friday, December 11, 2015

Teaching Math: Making Time for Problem Solving

Math Problem Solving: Targeted Time

When do you make time for math problem solving? How do you weave in the problem solving on top of the standards' expectations for computation and concepts? 

I know that many math programs weave problem solving seamlessly into every unit, yet I wonder if that's the best way? I wonder if we need to set aside time to focus on problem solving with targeted, differentiated attention.

I ask this question since really good math problem solving depends on so many skills including organization, reading, vocabulary, computation, and concept knowledge. There's a lot to do to solve a multi-step math problem with ease, efficiency, and precision.

While I do integrate problems into most math lessons and classes, I want to find a good way to carve out time to focus solely on problem solving. I planned a good approach using SRSD this summer, but have yet to find the time to employ the unit with depth. I'd like to weave this into our Response to Intervention work in January and February, but I'm meeting a bit of resistance in that regard. In early January, we have a good math meeting planned. I hope that problem solving, in part, will be part of that agenda.

Also, I plan to find a way to build strategic problem solving more often and with greater depth into the core program too.

How do you embed problem solving into your math program? Where do you find the time to give this most important component of math learning and teaching the time it deserves?