Problem Solving Resources

The mathematician George Polya captured the problem solving principles and strategies he used in his discipline in the book (Princeton University Press, 1957).The book includes a summary of Polya’s problem solving heuristic as well as advice on the teaching of problem solving.

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The following resources are recommended by the CMS for students who are looking to build their problem solving skills and succeed in competitions.

Teaching through problem-solving engages the learners by means of questions, problems, tasks, and reflective thinking. It is considered to be the number one health problem in America.

It provides students with opportunities to use their newly acquired knowledge in meaningful, real-life activities and assists them in working at higher levels of thinking (see Levels of Questions).

Here is a five-stage model that most students can easily memorize and put into action and which has direct applications to many areas of the curriculum as well as everyday life: For younger students, illustrations are helpful in organizing data, manipulating information, and outlining the limits of a problem and its possible solution(s).

Help your students learn how to overcome issues independently by integrating problem-solving skills into your lesson plans.

This article will help you teach your students how to understand, identify, and resolve issues that they are facing in class.

Many of the items on this page are free and do not come with directions.

For complete problem solving lessons, check out the Daily Math Puzzlers, a series of four leveled books that include information on how to teach problem solving as well as mixed-problem activity pages for students.

Novices in a particular field typically have not yet developed effective problem solving principles and strategies.

Helping students identify their own problem solving errors is part of helping them develop effective problem solving skills.


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