Primary Maths Problem Solving
How the publisher describes it:
“Scholastic Teacher Bookshop provides a wonderful range of titles reflecting current issues in education as well as the most popular primary curriculum areas. Teachers can browse through 'The Bookshop' and choose those titles that meet their particular needs and/or take their fancy| The varied format of titles in this series enables subjects to be covered in a way that is most appropriate to the content. Problem-solving is about making decisions. It is about choosing how to approach a challenge and searching for a method to work through it, adapting and developing as you go.”
Review by Ann Morgan
“You do not need a degree in maths to get into these problems”
Oh yes, I have found another one of THOSE books! By this I mean not just any old problem solving book, but the kind you hang onto for the rest of your teaching days. This is the kind of book every newly qualified teacher should get when they begin their career. It’s the kind of book you go back to year after year for just that bit of inspiration.
The book is aimed at teachers of primary aged children. It contains mathematical problems that encourage children to think creatively. There are 25 ‘Long Problems’ and a whole host of ideas for getting started with lots of simple resources. These are NOT word problems (hurrah). Helpfully the author has included some solutions and plenty of practical support for the teacher in managing the whole process in the classroom.
You do not need a degree in maths to get into these problems. They are easily accessible and potentially great fun. I really enjoyed doing the ‘Four by Four Grids’ which involves the children in laying down strips of paper to show their route along the grid,visiting each square once. Sounds simple doesn’t it? What is really helpful is that the author has put in for each problem an ‘easy’,' intermediate' and ‘expert’ levelling to help us pitch our lessons at an appropriate level. The above example was the ‘easy’ level and for once the class I worked with were eager to record their thinking with very creative results, after they had experienced lots of activity.
The author has chosen problems that start on a large scale so that the class can actually ‘walk’ the problem. This really helps to get the children ‘into’ the problem. Then he suggests you transfer the problem to the table top with a smaller version so the children can still work practically. It certainly beats worksheets and very much involves the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learner.
Right at the start of the book are lots of ideas for problems using simple resources such as target boards, lolly sticks and circles. I certainly now know what to do with all those redundant free CDs I keep collecting! This book is well worth a look.
Ann Morgan • Freelance Consultant, Kent
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Scholastic (19 Sep 2003)
Product Dimensions: 29.4 x 21 x 1.4 cm