# Middle School Math Problem Solving Strategies

This making sense of experience is an ongoing, recursive process.We have known for a long time that reading is a complex problem-solving activity.

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Those students who think math is all about the “correct” answer will need support and encouragement to take risks.

Tolerance of difficulty is essential in a problem-solving disposition because being “stuck” is an inevitable stage in resolving just about any problem.

Problem-solving allows students to develop understanding and explain the processes used to arrive at solutions, rather than remembering and applying a set of procedures.

It is through problem-solving that students develop a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts, become more engaged, and appreciate the relevance and usefulness of mathematics (Wu and Zhang 2006).

Problem-solving in mathematics supports the development of: Problem-solving should underlie all aspects of mathematics teaching in order to give students the experience of the power of mathematics in the world around them.

This method allows students to see problem-solving as a vehicle to construct, evaluate, and refine their theories about mathematics and the theories of others.If the way forward is obvious, it’s not a problem—it is a straightforward application.To understand how students become problem solvers we need to look at the theories that underpin learning in mathematics.Their questions are designed to help children use a variety of strategies and materials to solve problems.Students often want to begin without a plan in mind.These types of complex problems will provide opportunities for discussion and learning.Students will have opportunities to explain their ideas, respond to the ideas of others, and challenge their thinking.The challenge for teachers is ensuring the problems they set are designed to support mathematics learning and are appropriate and challenging for all students.The problems need to be difficult enough to provide a challenge but not so difficult that students can’t succeed.Although the teacher needs to be very much present, the primary focus in the class needs to be on the students’ thinking processes.”Students need to have opportunities to work on complex tasks rather than a series of simple tasks devolved from a complex task.This is important for stimulating the students’ mathematical reasoning and building durable mathematical knowledge (Anthony and Walshaw, 2007).

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