Problem Solving Teaching Method

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This method of teaching math is often used with advanced math students. High school math team coaches have been using this approach for years. College Problem-Solving Math courses might be taught this way.  College professors use this approach with their graduate students. This technique of teaching math bears little resemblance to how it’s commonly taught in grade school.

The same methods for teaching math to advanced students can also be used to teach grade school students.  This type of teaching focuses on understanding math conceptually rather than drilling rote memorization.  The material is personalized to your class, whether it consist of one student or forty.  The teacher tunes in to the students, motivates them, and provides feedback.  This type of teaching requires flexible thinking and an open mind, listening to kids talk about math, and handling problems with more than one “right” answer.

Though these methods are different from the ones used in many elementary and middle schools today, they are effective at teaching students to appreciate math, to do well on standardized tests without studying, and to spend less time doing math to get great results.  From the teacher’s point of view, this type of teaching is less predictable on a daily basis, but more fun to teach.  Listening, responding, and encouraging student thinking makes the class more lively and interesting.   Watching a student have a joyful “aha” moment changes the classroom atmosphere.