Results for "problem solving" (90)

The problem with problem solving

I believe Albert Einstein was once asked “If you have one hour to save the world, how would you spend that hour?”He replied, “I would spend 55 minutes defining the problem and then five minutes solving it.”When asking 20 mathematics teachers to define problem solving you are likely to get 21 different definitions. In its recent report Problem...

Perfect problem solving with Bojagi

As a mathematics teacher, I like to start the term with some basic number skills with my KS3 groups. This choice is grounded in solid reasoning: check the pupils have got a grasp of the basics before moving on to another topic. Prime factor trees make great display work, and Pascal’s Triangle can have the ‘wow’ factor. But how else can that start-of-the-new...

Problem solving in computing and across STEM - part 1

UK students are good problem solvers. PISA tests reveal that they are better than most international peers, including those from countries with better performance in mathematics and reading. Can this help their achievement in computing and other STEM subjects?This series of articles explores problem solving in computing and across STEM, asking ‘what is...

Problem solving in computing and across STEM - part 2

In part 1 we discovered that STEM subjects have common practices that can be shared and taught in the same way to reinforce and improve students’ learning. In part 2 we look at a possible approach to problem solving in computing and how this touches other STEM subjects.Solving problems in computing – a possible approachComputers process data. Problem...

Problem solving in computing and across STEM - part 3

Our previous articles (part 1 and part 2) have looked at how problem solving is used in STEM subjects and the skills that can be transferred to other subjects to improve learning.In part 3 we learn how debugging can be utilised in other lessons as well as posing questions we as teachers should all be thinking about…Debugging – evaluation and testing in...

How do you solve a problem like girls in physics?

Three years ago my colleagues and I sat down to discuss how we could, in our own small way, help to tackle the problem of a low uptake of A level physics by girls. The result was a termly event called Girls in Physics.The aim of this evening event is to create a space for girls to network with each other, to meet students with similar interests, and to...

Problem solving in mathematics: not such a new thing after all!

Problem solving is a key requirement of the new mathematics curriculum. The assessment objectives for the new mathematics GCSE states that a quarter of the marks at foundation level are awarded for students demonstrating their ability to solve problems, for the higher GCSE paper, the requirement is 30%.But as we all know, problem solving in mathematics is...

Confused by worded problems?

Whilst taking part in a professional development course run by NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics) recently, we were asked this question:Laura had $240. She spent 5/8 of it. How much money did she have left?When asked this type of question, 78% of children in Singapore got the answer correct whilst only 25% of children in...

Solving sustainability: can your students take on the challenge?

The BP Ultimate STEM Challenge invites students to tackle real-world problems.Themed around sustainability, this year's challenge asks students to:design ways to capture biomethane from food wastecreate an efficient way to get electricity from waterdevelop a sustainable method for growing plants indoorsDr Ajay Sharman attended the final of the 2016...

What are Fermi problems and how can they be brought into the mathematics classroom?

My biggest frustration is when presenting a problem to students and then watching them give up when they can’t see their way to the end of it. Encouraging students to take some initial steps in solving a problem is half the battle towards enabling them to solve it entirely.I’ve recently been working with students on this aspect of mathematics and have...

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