Results for "problem solving" (37)

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...

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...

Fermi problems: making maths a fun real-world tool

Problem solving and group work are two major skills we all hope to foster in our pupils. One way to help them develop these skills is to challenge them with Fermi problems.Enrico Fermi (1901 to 1954) was a Nobel Prize winning physicist, who was also famous for giving his audience fun problems, using approximate analysis to find an answer. These have since...

Bringing science to life in your primary classroom

If you were asked to name a scientist or an engineer who would you name?Would it be someone who you commonly see on TV such as Sir David Attenborough or Professor Brian Cox? Or would you reach into history and call on Issac Newton, Marie Curie or Albert Einstein?These scientists helped us to understand more about the world we live in, but what about the...

How does the Mastery Approach help progress in mathematics?

How do we know when a child has really understood a new mathematics concept? Is it when they can show a whole page of ticks? Or when they can answer related word problems? Or is it when they get the question right in a test?As an SLE for primary mathematics, I have the luxury of regularly visiting schools in my local area to support in the development of...

Making mathematics real

I remember a very energetic mathematics advisor jumping across an imaginary place value chart, demonstrating a physical way to help children learn about place value and multiplying and dividing by 10 and 100. Physically moving around is a great way to learn and adds to the multi-sensory approach used to encompass the variety of learning styles within a...

How can we develop pupils’ explanations in mathematics?

In my 12 year old son’s eyes I am a failing parent. Why? Because, despite spending many hours standing on the side of a football pitch, I still can’t explain the offside rule. I’ve had it explained to me on many an occasion, even once with the use of Lego figures for concrete modelling, but I still just don’t get it, let alone apply my understanding during...

Why improving gender diversity in STEM should be a priority

Currently, the UK has the lowest proportion of women in engineering of any European country, with females accounting for just 10% of roles and 14% of engineering university places.As part of this small cohort of female engineers, it seems as if thousands of skilled, innovative and talented women aren’t even considering engineering as a career. This should...

Bringing engineering into the primary classroom

There is definitely a buzz around Rode Heath at the moment and I can’t help feel that it has something to do with our engineering project…One of the most important ways of engaging children in their learning, is to make it fun and purposeful. At Rode Heath, we are achieving that through our Think Like an Engineer way of learning!Back in October, with...

Inspiring tomorrow's engineers today

Who are tomorrow's engineers? I'd argue that every single student in your classroom could be an engineer.Typically, if you ask someone what an 'engineer' is they will reply with one or more of the following descriptors: introverted, nerdy, clever, fixes things, problem solver, dirty, mechanic, overalls, hard hat. And they work on cars, planes, trains and...

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