The Doing What Works Library

Improving Mathematical Problem Solving in Grades 4 Through 8

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Katie Ranftle
February 14, 2014

Improving Mathematical Problem Solving in Grades 4 Through 8

This multimedia overview explains why problem solving should be part of teaching in all math topics, describing the different types of problems that teachers in grades 4-8 might use, and the important components of the problem-solving process. This topic addresses three research-based practices:

  • Plan for problem solving by preparing problems to use in whole-class instruction. (Prepare Problems)
  • Teach students to use visual representations, employ multiple problem-solving strategies, and relate mathematical concepts and notation to problem solving. (Problem-Solving Instruction)
  • Monitor and reflect on the problem-solving process, and debrief to explain and compare problem-solving strategies. (Reflect and Debrief)

To facilitate the work of state-, district-, and school-level personnel in translating the recommended practices into actions and policy options, please refer to the State, District, School and Common Core planning templates.

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We’re working on developing full text transcripts that support multiple languages and follow along on-pace with the video. In the mean time, you can download the video’s caption file for your own use below:

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