Nrich Problem Solving

This article forms part of our Problem-solving Classroom Feature, exploring how to create a space in which mathematical problem solving can flourish.At NRICH, we believe that there are four main aspects to consider: • Highlighting key problem-solving skills • Examining the teacher’s role • Encouraging a productive disposition • Developing independent learners.

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(This type of task is sometimes known as a Fermi problem.) After you have posed the task, give time for children to talk to each other.

You could then invite them to share some questions that have occurred to them as they have been talking.

Finding a winning strategy for the game Got It lends itself to a working backwards approach.

After playing a few times, pupils will be able to spot which player is going to win before the winning move takes place.

Additionally you may find that these tasks support the development of other problem-solving skills and mathematical habits of mind, which you could choose to highlight as and when they arise.

This brief article, written for upper primary students and their teachers, explains what the Explore Learning Mathematicians' Award (formerly known as the Young Mathematicians' Award) is and links to.

Being Collaborative - Primary is part of our Developing Mathematical Habits of Mind Primary collection.

You can see the full collection by scrolling down to the bottom of the Primary Curriculum page. They work productively with other people, valuing different points of view.

From this point, pupils can work backwards to find the winning approach. involves discussing how many dots pupils can see, and the strategy they use to count them.

This encourages learners to discuss how they are visualising the number patterns within the dots, and helps them appreciate that there is no 'right' way to go about this task.


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