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?