Teacher Toolbox
Learning Strategies - Problem Solving

Solve and Evaluate

The student needs to find the solution, check its accuracy, and apply it to the problem.

Representation of Solution
  • Make sure the expression of the solution is a clear match with the outcome goal or purpose of the problem.  For example, a solution to an equation or word problem in math needs to be written as an equation and reflect the central elements used to solve it.
  • Make sure the students use terminology that they normally use to ensure they are able to understand and explain their solutions.
  • Use a variety of thinking words to explain the solution – Use specific words that tell about the process.

    • When giving a solution to a math problem use words like answer.
    • When telling about a summary from an author's opinion use words like claim, or believe.
    •  When using words to tell about facts use state, show, or confirm.

  • Post a list of thinking words and color code according to the type of thoughts they tell.
  • Discuss with the student what they did and how they accomplished the goal.
  • Have them grade themselves, circle an answer or word they wrote that they thought was clearly written, or select a piece of work they felt they learned well and have them tell why.
  • Depending on the type of problem, compare with the student different possible solutions to the problem. Discuss with the student how someone else determined the answer and what was similar and different about their problem solving technique.
  • Have a student grade an additional problem finding the same answer in a different way to compare the two methods.  Make sure the other problem was not completed by a student in the class.