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Problem Solving Strategies

Problem Solving Strategies




Act it Out Strategy: The act-it-out strategy involves having problem solvers either role play or physically manipulates objects, such as paper squares.



Draw a picture or Diagram: Problem solvers use the draw-a-diagram strategy when they need to create a simple picture or diagram to help them visualize a problem.



Make a list, table, or chart: The strategy of making a list, table, or chart is often used when the information in a problem needs to be organized.  Such organization help problem solvers keep track of or spot missing data.  Students can also discover relationships and patterns among the data.



Guess and Check: The guess-and-check strategy is used when problem solvers need to make a reasonable guess about a solution.  After a guess has been made, it is checked and, if necessary,



Find a Pattern:  The find-a-pattern strategy is helpful when problem solvers have to analyze a numerical, visual, or behavioral pattern in data and then make a prediction or generalization based on that analysis.



Work Backwards:  The work backwards strategy involves starting with the end result or data given at the end of a problem and making a series of inverse computations to find the missing information.



Logical Reasoning:  The logical reasoning strategy involves the use of conditional clues to help problem solvers arrive at a solution.  Clues can be stated directly or implied.



Write an Equation:  Problem solvers use the write-an-equation strategy when they need to write a mathematical sentence to model information in a problem.



Choose the Correct Operation:  The choose-the-correct operation strategy involves having problem solvers decide which mathematical operation is needed to solve a problem.  Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division can be used.



Solve a Simpler Problem: The solve-a-simpler-problem strategy is used when a problem is too complex for problem solvers to solve in one step.