WHAT IT IS...
Problem Solving Connections is an instructional program for grades one through six that systematically develops the fundamental strategies needed for solving challenging problems. More than 25 complex problems in each unit provide opportunities for strategy application in a variety of contexts. The structure of the program is unique in that concepts and strategies are introduced and reviewed in a spiral fashion so that students can enter the program at any level. Problem Solving Connections provides real-life applications to all curricular areas, as well as opportunities to discuss and extend each strategy and to create original problems.
WHAT IT DOES...
Problem Solving Connections helps students excel on the research-based NCTM Standards. It raises student math scores and prepares students for the newer assessments through practice in "explaining the solution."
Problem Solving Connections:
- Teaches problem solving as a set of strategies to apply on content from across the curriculum
- Models not only how, but also when and why to apply each strategy
- Builds students' higher-level skills in verbalizing, explaining, and justifying their solutions
- Incorporates manipulatives, calculators, and technology as appropriate
HOW IT WORKS...
Problem Solving Connections incorporates both challenging problems and instruction in the strategies necessary for solving them. Each grade level provides more than two hundred process problems. Every unit develops and applies one of ten strategies that research indicates lead to accelerated problem solving abilities. Lessons within the unit systematically introduce, model, and expand student abilities to use and explain each strategy:
- Act It Out
- Make a Model
- Work Backwards
- Draw a Picture or Diagram
- Make a List/Table/Chart
- Look for a Pattern
- Guess and Check
- Use Logical Reasoning
- Set Up an Equation
HOW IT WORKS FOR YOU...
Problem Solving Connections minimizes teacher preparation time by using clear explanations in each lesson – introducing and modeling each strategy with easy-to-implement techniques. Also included are discussion questions to help students internalize the strategies and apply them in new situations, unit assessments, and cumulative reviews.