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Problem-solving Strategies and Skills: Number and Algebra Box 1

Embed Mathematical Problem-Solving and Reasoning with the Problem-Solving Strategies and Skills Maths Cards.

These cards provide a wide variety of motivating and high-interest problem-solving activities. The front of each card has a mathematics word problem for pupils to solve and the reverse of each card has an extension activity for more able pupils. The problems involve one or several steps, require the use of a variety of strategies and skills and are supported by colourful artwork.

The core concepts in the Problem-solving Strategies and Skills: Number and Algebra Box 1 are:

  • counting, number recognition and ordinal numbers
  • addition and subtraction
  • multiplication and division
  • fractions
  • decimals
  • percentages

    I was very eager to try these and hoped they would give me a bit more structure and focus regarding problem solving. It is an area of the Maths curriculum that I find needs more attention than I have previously given it. This year I decided to dedicate one day per week to Problem solving. This means that I can link it in to all other topic areas I am focusing on, hopefully this will help the boys increase in confidence when it comes to problem solving. There are three boxes for each class level, 1st to 6th Class,comprising: 30 Number and Algebra cards, plus answers 30 Measurement and Geometry cards, plus answers 30 Statistics and Chance cards, plus answers The front of each card has a word problem and the reverse of each card has an extension activity. This makes it a perfect activity for those higher achievers and early finishers. I have tried out several different levels and am very impressed. The cards are colourful and fun, this is very different to how the problem solving questions in a lot of textbooks are presented. I find that in our school text books there is one full page of questions at the end of a topic that the children always complain about having to do. The level of vocabulary is quite high and I found that I started using the level below with my students, e.g. the third class students use Box2. This is to help them become more familiar with the vocabulary, also to develop confidence and a sense of achieving. The challenge of the cards themselves is enough at the minute. I hope to move them on to Box 3 after Christmas when they are more confident in their ability. The cards are a great resource for group work and I am hoping to use them in Maths hour. The boys are actually excited to use the cards, they look forward to the challenge every Thursday. We mix up working as a group, in pairs and individually. It is great to see how the cards encourage them to work together and they bring out their competitive streak. When we finish a card we put it in the pile that is wrapped in an elastic band. This means we can keep track of what we have done and it is easy to see what we have left to do. Having used these Problem Solving cards for the past month I would definitely recommend them, Although the cards would be suited to both classroom or a SEN setting I like having them in SEN. Sometimes it is hard to find resources like this that are specific to when a child comes for learning support. They often see it as a fun activity and a change from their regular textbook. As I have said before I love my the Prim-Ed Maths Boxes and I feel that these Problem solving cards will be a great addition to my class. I would say that it is worth really thinking about what level would suit your class, if they really struggle with problem solving or reading then it might be worth going for an easier level.

    Mentoring Muinteoir

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