Problem Solving

Activity 1: Penny Problems

 Learning Objectives related to Curriculum: Planning to solve a problem - designing a plan and following it through P-2 Number of Students: 1 or small group Resources/Materials: Pennies Task cards with diagrams Envelopes with solutions Source Acknowledgment: Bolt, B. Mathematical Activities Activity Description: This activity includes three different penny problems that are outlined on task cards, with the solutions in labeled envelopes. The tasks are clearly described and involve critical thinking skills and the process of guess and test, and working systematically. CELS: Numeracy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Values and Skills if working as a team Adaptation/Variation/Extension: -students could add their own penny problems to this activity and have others solve them. -if these are difficult, an example of a similar problem could be done with the whole class. Evaluation: self assessment anecdotal records performance assessment - notebook Reflection/Additional Comments: Could be an interesting activity to work on in groups rather than alone and watch what kind of communication takes place.

[back]

Problem Solving

Activity 2: Toothpick Problems

 Learning Objectives related to Curriculum: Planning to solve a problem -demonstrate understanding of the problem and solve by using the toothpick manipulatives P-1, P-2 Number of Students: 1 or small group Resources/Materials: Toothpicks Task cards with diagrams Envelopes with solutions Source Acknowledgment: Adapted from Bolt, B. Mathematical Activities Activity Description: This activity includes three different toothpick problems that are outlined and diagrammed on task cards, with the solutions in labeled envelopes. The tasks are clearly described and involve critical thinking skills, understanding the problem, the process of guess and test, and working systematically. CELS: Numeracy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Values and Skills if working as a team Adaptation/Variation/Extension: -students could add their own toothpick problems to this activity and have others solve them. -if these are difficult, an example of a similar problem could be done with the whole class. Evaluation: self assessment anecdotal records performance assessment - notebook Reflection/Additional Comments: Could be an interesting activity to work on in groups rather than alone and watch what kind of communication takes place.

[back]

Problem Solving

Activity 3: A Bag of Marbles

 Learning Objectives related to Curriculum: Problem solving using given information, working backwards from known information, working systematically P-1, P-2 Number of Students: 1 or small group Resources/Materials: Task card Bag of Marbles Pencil and paper Solution   Source Acknowledgment: Adapted from activity in Saskatchewan Grade 5 Curriculum Guide, page 504 Activity Description: Figure out the following problem: A bag of marbles contains cats-eyes, blue, green, and white marbles. How many of each are there if: The number of green is half the cats-eyes There are more white than green There are three times as many green as blue There are twelve cats-eyes. CELS: Numeracy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Values and Skills if working as a team Adaptation/Variation/Extension: - students could use the marbles to make up other problems for friends to solve -find other objects to make similar problems about Evaluation: self assessment anecdotal records performance assessment - notebook Reflection/Additional Comments: There are excellent problems such as these in many problem-solving books. Having the materials to work with (and to help check the solution) makes problem solving more interesting for students.

[back]

Problem Solving

Activity 4: The Koala Bear

[back]

Problem Solving

Activity 5: Magazine Problem Solving

 Learning Objectives related to Curriculum: Designing and using appropriate strategies to solve "real life" problems from magazine P-1, P-2 Number of Students: 1 or 2 Resources/Materials: Task card Pencil and paper Magazine (s)   Source Acknowledgment: Activity Description: The task card describes a number of "problems" which can be found using various pages in the magazine. Students must develop strategies to solve the problems CELS: Numeracy, Critical and Creative Thinking Adaptation/Variation/Extension: - students could design their own problems and give them to a friend to solve. Evaluation: self assessment anecdotal records performance assessment - notebook learning contract observation checklist Reflection/Additional Comments: After an example of this activity had been done in class, it may be a good idea to have each student or pair of students look through a magazine and design their own problems which can be solved and then passed on to other students and solved.

[back]

Problem Solving