Mathematical Problem Solving Skills

The lessons provide coverage of Levels 1 to 6 of The New Zealand Curriculum.

The lessons are organised by level and curriculum strand.

When you think about it, the whole aim of education is to equip children to solve problems.

In the Mathematics Curriculum therefore, Problem Solving contributes to the generic skill of problem solving in the New Zealand Curriculum Framework.

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Problem solving is a skill in mathematics which although always relevant has heightened priority due to the changes in the new mathematics GCSE (Department for Education, 2013).This is the side of mathematics that enables us to use the skills in a wide variety of situations.Before we get too far into the discussion of Problem Solving, it is worth pointing out that we find it useful to distinguish between the three words "method", "answer" and "solution".The teachers implemented observation techniques in the form of video and peer observation with the accompanying teacher.In addition, students provided feedback on how they approached the problem-solving tasks through a form of semi-structured interviews, conducted via the use of video diaries where no teachers were present to prevent power bias.It has previously been a skill which is deemed underdeveloped within mathematics and therefore is a theme which teachers are seeking to improve and nurture in order to align with the new changes.The GCSE is the formal qualification that students take at the end of Key Stage 4 (KS4) in the UK. The focus of the enquiry was to explore, using lesson studies, the differences in students’ approaches to problem solving.By "method" we mean the means used to get an answer.This will generally involve one or more Problem Solving Strategies. Although we have listed the Four Stages of Problem Solving in order, for difficult problems it may not be possible to simply move through them consecutively to produce an answer.These include the basic arithmetical processes and the algorithms that go with them.They include algebra in all its levels as well as sophisticated areas such as the calculus.

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