I was sitting in a 10 grade Geometry class at Union High School that I observe Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the teacher, Mrs. G, passed out a worksheet that was titled: Problem of the week. I looked at the worksheet and this is what I saw:
Four Step Problem Solving Sequence
Problem of the week that the students and teacher are going to work on.
Understanding the Problem
Analyze the problem and establish what is asking you to do or find. Underline any important words or facts. Define any key vocabulary words.
Create a Plan
Devise a plan for solving the problem and/or make an illustration to demonstrate your understanding of the problem.
Carry of the Plan
Write a complete sentence explaining the answer and remember to attend to precision.
Evaluate your solution, is it reasonable? Can you find another valid approach to solve the problem?
Each part of the problem is done in class with the students and the teacher. There are four steps for one problem, one step for each day. On the final day, the students will do a problem to the one similar to the one they worked on all week all on their own.
Mrs. G finds the problems that are either review from the previous week or a problem that will be coming up in the new week. This problem is challenging to the students, but when the week is done, they be able to do a similar problem.
Below is one of the problems Mrs G presented the class, and I completed the worksheet.
This worksheet can help focus the students attention to what the question is asking and following through with the answer but also another way of looking at the same problem. This worksheet breaks down a problem into steps of thinking, so the students will receive the full understanding of a problem.