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What is a Problem?

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A problem is a question for which there is no apparent solution. In order to solve the problem, it is necessary to try different approaches in an attempt to find a solution. This involves the application of prior knowledge and skills as well as the use of various problem solving strategies.

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Mathematical Problems include… Word Problems Practical Tasks Open ended investigations Puzzles Games Projects Mathematical Trails

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Word Problems Why have children difficulty solving word problems?

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Mathematical Language When children use mathematical language it is important that they use it accurately. Understanding mathematical language leads to the correct interpretation of mathematical symbols and accurate reading of word problems. This helps the child to choose the correct operation for the task.

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Problem Solving Strategy R.U.D.E

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R.U.D.E R - Read Pupils are encouraged to read the word problem at least 3 times

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R.U.D.E U – Underline Key numbers and key words in the problem are underlined in pencil. Example: Jane had 5 sweets. She ate 3 sweets. How many sweets are left?

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R.U.D.E Key words are then highlighted/underlined according to the mathematical operation involved. Colour Mathematical Operation Examples of Key Words/Questions BlueAddition More, altogether, and, plus, add RedSubtraction How many more? What is the difference between? spent, How many are left? PurpleMultiplication Times, there are 20 pupils in each class, how many are there in 5 classes? OrangeDivisionDivided among, shared, divided into groups of

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R.U.D.E D – Draw Pupils are encouraged to draw a picture/table/diagram of the information being presented in the problem. This approach greatly assists visual learners in comprehending the problem.

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R.U.D.E E – Estimate Pupils make an estimation as to what the answer may be.

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R.U.D.E The pupils write an equation/sum for the problem. They calculate their equation and check their calculations

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Problem solving (2nd Class) Jack had 13 books. His Granny gave him 3 more books as a birthday present. How many books has he now?

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Problem Solving (5 th Class) There were 14,568 newspapers sold last year. This year 1,278 fewer newspapers were sold. How many newspapers were sold over the two years?

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