Practice Guide iconPractice Guide
Released: May 2012
PDF (4.5 MB)
This practice guide provides five recommendations for improving students’ mathematical problem solving in grades 4 through 8. This guide is geared toward teachers, math coaches, other educators, and curriculum developers who want to improve the mathematical problem solving of students.
1

Prepare problems and use them in whole-class instruction.

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2

Assist students in monitoring and reflecting on the problem-solving process.

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3

Teach students how to use visual representations.

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4

Expose students to multiple problem-solving strategies.

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5

Help students recognize and articulate mathematical concepts and notation.

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Related Resources:
Topics:
Education Levels:
  • Elementary
  • Middle Grades
Audience:
  • Administrators
  • Parent/Family
  • Policymakers
  • Researchers
  • School Specialist
  • Student
  • Teacher

This practice guide was prepared for the WWC by Mathematica Policy Research under contract ED-07-CO-0062.

The following research staff contributed to the guide: Joshua Furgeson, and Robin Patfield.

These videos were prepared by WestEd under the Doing What Works Contract (ED-PEP-11-C-0068).
All videos are based on recommendations from the WWC practice guides and are designed to complement the guides.

  • John Woodward (Chair)
    University of Puget Sound

    Play an interview of Panel Chair, John Woodward: The Components of Problem Solving (5:47 minutes)
  • Sybilla Beckmann
    University of Georgia
  • Mark Driscoll
    Education Development Center
  • Megan Franke
    University of California, Los Angeles
  • Patricia Herzig
    Independent Math Consultant
  • Asha Jitendra
    University of Minnesota
  • Kenneth R. Koedinger
    Carnegie Mellon University
  • Philip Ogbuehi
    Los Angeles Unified School District

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