Problem Solving for All Students
Problem solving plays an important role in mathematics and should have a prominent role in the mathematics education of K-12 students (NCTM, 2010). The VDOE’s Math Standards of Learning focuses on five process goals; one of which is Mathematical Problem Solving.
Mathematical Problem Solving
Students will apply mathematical concepts and skills and the relationships among them to solve problem situations of varying complexities. Students also will recognize and create problems from real-world data and situations within and outside mathematics and then apply appropriate strategies to determine acceptable solutions. To accomplish this goal, students will need to develop a repertoire of skills and strategies for solving a variety of problem types. A major goal of the mathematics program is to help students apply mathematics concepts and skills to become mathematical problem solvers (VDOE, 2016).
The new 2016 Math Standards of Learning places emphasis on exposing students to different problem types when teaching problem solving. The chart below shows some of the problem types in the 2016 standards:
Problem Solving Resources
- Resources for problem solving types can be found on the VDOE’s 2017 Mathematics SOL Institutes webpage.
- There are also problem solving resources available in the TTAC ODU Library:
Board of Education, Commonwealth of Virginia. (2016, September). Mathematics Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools.
National Council of Teachers Of Mathematics. (2010, April 8). Research brief: Why is teaching with problem solving important to student learning?
Enhanced Scope and Sequence
The SOL Enhanced Scope and Sequence (ESS) was created by a team of general and special educators and VDOE personnel. ESS provides teachers across the state with differentiated lessons that are aligned with the essential knowledge and skills found in the Curriculum Framework at VDOE. The ESS is organized by content areas (i.e. Mathematics, English, History and Social Science, Science), and can be accessed at the Virginia Department of Education Standards of Learning.
Virginia Department of Education Instructional Resources
- The Standards and SOL-based Instructional Resources
- Math ESS Lessons
- English ESS Lessons
- Science and Social Studies ESS Lessons
Suggestions for Communicating With and About People with Disabilities at the CDC.
Virginia Department of Education Mathematics Resources
- Tests and Sample Item Sets Released in Spring 2014 (Grade 3, Grade 4, and Grade 5)
- VDOE Mathematics Resources
- Algebra Readiness Inventory Curriculum Companion
- Web Tour of the ARI Curriculum Companion
- Mathematics Word Wall Cards
- VDOE Guidelines for Educating Students with Specific Learning Disabilities in Math
T-TAC Online Math Resources
Additional Mathematics Sites of Interest
Fluency Without Fear by Jo Boaler (activities to develop Number Sense and Number Facts)
Watch this NCETM video of a teacher using multiple representations for multiplication. (This teacher works in a school where 3 x 4 is interpreted as 3 + 3 + 3 + 3). It is a good example of how to support the conceptual understanding of multiplication facts and its importance as students develop fact fluency.
Quantiles Framework Resources
- Quantiles Teacher Assistant and Quantiles Math Skills Database Search
- Web Tour of the Quantiles Framework Tools
Newly Added Resources
At the National Center on Intensive Instruction website, you can find examples of instructional plans that intensify fraction instruction. You can download the plans and print-based representations (manipulatives) at the links below.