Ways to solve math­e­mat­ics prob­lems faster

Panay News - - METRO -  By May Jean A. Marcelo, School, Du­marao, SST III, Este­fa­nia Mon­temayor Na­tional High Capiz

SURE, there are math prob­lem­solv­ing strate­gies. The big­gest chal­lenge when solv­ing math prob­lems is not un­der­stand­ing the prob­lem. It is not even be­cause you can­not do math. It is be­cause you do not know how to solve it or you do not know the strate­gies in solv­ing it.

In math classes, with al­most ev­ery prob­lem that is pre­sented there is some sort of method that is fol­lowed that gives the stu­dent a so­lu­tion. But some­times there are more than one method in find­ing the an­swer.

There can be many dif­fer­ent so­lu­tion or paths that al­low some­one to reach the an­swer to a prob­lem, but ev­ery per­son looks at a prob­lem in a dif­fer­ent way, which is why some peo­ple may choose one method over an­other.

By teach­ing stu­dents this dis­ci­pline of solv­ing prob­lems, they will be bet­ter equipped to reach their goals in the fu­ture be­cause they will learn that there are dif­fer­ent ways to ap­proach a prob­lem. If the “prob­lem solver” gets stuck, they can try to look at the prob­lem from a dif­fer­ent an­gle and at­tempt a dif­fer­ent method to reach a so­lu­tion.

An­other i dea that i s too of­ten over­looked is that be­ing a prob­lem solver is not a skill. It is a char­ac­ter trait and a mind-set. It takes a per­son who is mo­ti­vated in­trin­si­cally to go out and solve a prob­lem.

But math teach­ers have the abil­ity to shape the minds of their stu­dents to be­come prob­lem­solv­ing minds. The proven ben­e­fit of teach­ing stu­dents prob­lem solv­ing skills is that their achieve­ment, con­fi­dence and skills in math­e­mat­ics and other cur­ricu­lums in­creases. The main rea­son for this is that prob­lem solv­ing pro­vides stu­dents with the abil­ity to look at a sit­u­a­tion from dif­fer­ent points of view us­ing crit­i­cal and an­a­lyt­i­cal think­ing. By be­ing crit­i­cal thinkers, stu­dents can bet­ter fore­see out­comes of a sit­u­a­tion, al­low­ing them to de­cide what path­way to the de­sired so­lu­tion would be most ef­fi­cient. Know­ing how to solve math prob­lems can surely help a stu­dent pass his or her sub­ject. But to know how to solve math prob­lems faster is dif­fer­ent and is a plus. Surely again, you will in­tim­i­date many stu­dents by say­ing this, but teach­ing tech­niques to solve math prob­lems with ease and speed can make it less daunt­ing. This can also make math more re­ward­ing. In­stead of re­ly­ing on cal­cu­la­tors, stu­dents learn strate­gies that can im­prove their

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