Most of us are proficient Mathematics problem solvers such that we are able to “see” the solution once we see the problem. Even in drawing the model, we have already “see” in our head how the final model looks like. However, this is not true for our students. They are still novice problem solvers and cannot “see” the solution. Hence, it is important to make our thinking visible and unpack our thinking process into details such that our students can follow our thought process. I tried this with my class last year and it is not a very straightforward process. I have to really make a conscious efforts to break my thinking into steps that my students can follow.
In this series of word problem solving posting, I try to model such approach. Please note that I am doing this in my free time, so do not expect perfect work :-). This is in no way endorsed by the authorities but purely just me and my crazy idea of sharing my 2 cents worth on problem solving. Hope that the fellow Mathematics educators will find them useful. My approach of solving word problem is based on the following principles:
(1) Systematic and explicit instruction (Step-by-step approach)
(2) Self-instruction/questioning (For monitoring and management of their learning)
(3) Use of visual representation (Drawing of Model)
Hope you find them useful