In trying to prepare a lesson for grade nine problem solving, I Noticed that most problems are related to shapes, or rate problems, or finding a certain number or numbers. In other words how boring! Is it possible to teach problem solving without going through this nightmare? Can Math problems be actually fun and engaging? At the same time teaching kids how to think. If so where can I find problems that are not the usual,something that grade nines can relate to.
I'm rather appalled by some of the comments made, I'm not even sure where to begin.
First of all, the comment about problems related to shapes, rates and numbers being "boring" and having to teach problem solving "through this nightmare": these three areas (plus the problem solving) represent four of the six strands of the new Saskatchewan Math curriculum, so that's a sweeping comment to make; also the word "boring" refers to your feelings about these problems, it should certainly not be assumed that is the case with all of your students or all teachers. Should I remind you that a "good" teacher can make "boring" or ordinary subject matter appealing and interesting to students; a good teacher will make math problems "fun and engaging"; maybe you need an attitude change instead of new problems.
Secondly, if you want new problems, maybe you could find some and share these with other teachers across the province.
Thirdly, I would like to refer you to the new Sask. Math curriculum for middle years, which will be available in a few months through implementation workshops; in this curriculum guide, and I emphasize the word guide (after all, teachers are professionals and can develop material on their own), many examples will be found (these are examples, teachers are encouraged to find and share others); problem solving is integrated throughout all areas of math; the problem solving strand allows teachers to teach strategies to solve problems and encourages students to think and discuss their thinking with others.
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