Solving Math : Problem Solving Skills

2668 Words Nov 30th, 2014 11 Pages
Problem solving skills in the area of mathematics:
Instruction in problem-solving skills begins at an early age for students. The strategies and techniques used in developing these skills are introduced in elementary schools, typically in a mathematics lesson. The four steps for problem solving in mathematics as identified by Pólya (2004) are: understanding the problem, devising a plan, carrying out the plan, and reflecting on the problem. For the first step, understanding the problem, this is where the student attempts to decipher what the problem is asking, and what information has been provided in the question. Devising a plan is where the student develops strategies to solve the problem. This is where a picture or diagram can be created and /or mathematical relationships can be used to describe the problem. For carrying out the plan, the student will look to their diagram or mathematical relationship and take what information they have discovered form the original problem to see if they can solve the problem. The last step is looking back to the original question to determine if the solution they have found answers the original problem. This is a familiar strategy used by most teachers in school to impart to their students how to solve a word problem. The most crucial component in the solving of word-problems in mathematics is deciphering what the question has asked and this is the step where students struggle the most. It may be attributed to not…