Problem solving is very important, but probably the most important part of problem solving is to be able to explain your thinking as to how you solved the problem. Correct answers are great, but correct answers with an explanation are even better!
The fun part is that we are all different, and we quite often look at problems in different ways. That's a good thing, because we learn so much from seeing how other people think.
Here is a problem solving activity we did. The requirements were:
- Correct answer.
- A strategy to get the correct answer.
- An explanation of the strategy.
Some students worked with partners, others were more comfortable working on their own. Everyone worked hard.
Here is the problem:
And here are some of our strategies!
Kiersten and Ruby used multiplication to solve the problem.
Claire groups the horses and the people separately to solve the problem.
Ryan and Hope drew a picture to solve their problem. (They shared with us their strategy--we ran out of time for them to write their strategy down.)
Andrew and Lexi used tally marks to solve the problem.
Tessa and Gavin gave us two different strategies. Tessa used groups and Gavin used a multiplication sentence with three factors.
Finally, Kaydance used unifix cubes to stand for the people's legs and horse's legs.
What good thinkers we have! It is so great to see how everyone's mind works differently.
What do you think of our solutions to the problem?
When you looked at the problem, did you think of yet another way to solve it?
Please share in the comment section below!