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Problem solving pointers

You’ll often see the phrase “problem solving” cropping up as a kind of shorthand for describing the entire requirements of the new Assessment Objectives. In fact, it’s not a wholly comprehensive or accurate description but it’s probably enough to get by on for now.

So, worth noting that aside from the new sample assessments, AQA point to the Additional Maths Pilot as a useful preliminary source of “problem solving questions” – you can find them here. Also you’ll find pages 7-11 of the downloadable Additional Mathematics Teacher Guide devoted to the issue. This document breaks progression in student problem solving down into three stages…

  • First stage – Developing the ‘strategies’ as possible approaches
  • Second stage – Developing awareness of the approaches as strategies
  • Third Stage – Operating strategically


Interactive problem solving

The Longman course will include a suite of interactive problem solving tools for whole class delivery on a whiteboard.  The GradeStudio screengrab here shows a work-in-progress example of how these might work.

The tool asks the class to work in a systematic way: on understanding the problem, on planning  a strategy for solving it, and then on working their way through a solution. Or they can cheat a bit and start with one of ours.

Image just links to a larger version, currently, but there’ll proper demos out first thing in the new year.

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