# Nrich Problem Solving

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Part 2: The Teacher's Role It is perhaps easy to underestimate the effect teacher behaviour can have on enabling problem solving in the classroom.

Ruthven (1989) describes a three-pronged approach to teaching and learning mathematics (Exploration, Codification, Consolidation) which contrasts with the more 'traditional' model of demonstration then practice.

This could lead on to a discussion about the assumptions they will need to make and then you can allow time for pairs/small groups to come to a conclusion.

If the teacher's role is more of a 'guide on the side' rather than a 'sage on the stage', then asking probing questions is of key importance.

You can ask them to arrange the dominoes on the table to show you that they have/have not got a full set and then all children can have an opportunity to look at others' arrangements.

By inviting the learners themselves to justify their answers, you can draw out the key features of the dominoes and the systematic approach that is required.

This is the codification stage, where you are highlighting key learning points and perhaps introducing specific vocabulary.

Consolidation of the ideas comes in the form of another task, Amy's Dominoes, which also involves finding out whether a domino set is a complete one, but this time the information focuses on the number of dots.

' and 'how many jelly babies would fill the school hall?

') can also be a useful vehicle for 'holding back' in the mathematics classroom and giving children the opportunity to explore a situation freely.

## Comments Nrich Problem Solving

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Parents need to know that NRICH's free K-12 math activities require kids to use mathematical thinking; this type of problem solving can take a while, so encourage kids to stick with it. For math-anxious grown-ups, there are solutions and plenty of tips in NRICH's parent-friendly teaching area.…

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STEP Support Programme - free online resources. The STEP Support programme is designed to help university applicants develop their advanced problem-solving skills and prepare for sitting STEP Mathematics examinations. The programme is developed by the Faculty of Mathematics and NRICH.…

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NRICH aims to * Enrich the experience of the mathematics curriculum for all learners * Offer challenging and engaging activities * Develop mathematical thinking and problem-solving skills * Show rich mathematics in meaningful contexts.…

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If this issue's Puzzle page whets your appetite for solving mathematical puzzles online then you might like to look at a new internet journal, Interact, published by the NRICH Maths project. The journal, updated monthly, features a collection of problems designed to get you thinking.…

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Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today.…

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This feature is somewhat larger than our usual features, but that is because it is packed with resources to help you develop a problem-solving approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Read Lynne's article which discusses the place of problem solving in the new curriculum and sets the scene.…