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Problem Solving


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Hello everyone!

We have decided to have a focus on problem solving next term (I teach a reception). We are looking to focus on this for 4 weeks, covering a range of mathematical areas. By the time we come to do this we will have focussed on 2d shapes, 1-1 counting, 1 more/less, ordering numbers and missing numbers. Our topic is dinosaurs so we would hope to link the majority of the maths to this. I have to admit problem solving activities often scare me and I will usually over think activities when im sure there are many simple but effective ways! Could anyone help me out with some ideas please, I would ideally like 1open ended problem to be planned in for each week so they can develop their ideas and thinking over a period of time.

Thanks in advance!! Amy

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Guest tinkerbell

I may have posted this idea before.

We problem solve everyday at fruit time.

We gather together in a circle and I put the fruitbowl down...I would have made sure there are 2 types at least.

I choose one and we all count them out onto a pice of paper.We then count out the other fruit.

question eg how many apples? how many bananas? are there more bananas than apples? are there more apples than bananasa,how many more? physically match the fruit so its a visual as well as counting activity.

Then ask how many children would like an apple,hands raised count...do we have enough? eg is 13 more than 15 or less? how many less lets see,children to get fruit and count whats left.Who would like bananas? count round circle,how many do we have how many do we need? children take them..how many are left?.

so how many apples left? how many bananas left ? lets put them together and add them ,how many?

As the weeks go by I would write the number down on the paper and write the sums down on a little white board.

If you know that the children like a fruit make sure there are not enough one day and ask what they could do?

Hopefully they will say ,share ! so half them talk about fair halving ...I would cut some in funny bits and getthe children to say 'thats not fair'

AS the weeks progress \I would set the fruits out in rows of 2's and count in two's,setthem out in 5's etc

I would also write down the problem 15-3= 10+10 make etc etc

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thank you for your post! we do something similar to this and will often have other activities which are very general and not topic focussed. But you have given me some ideas of how to take it to another level. What I need is some ideas which i can link to our topic on dinosaurs e.g. the dinosaur is stuck, how can we get him down... etc..... any other suggestions?? thanks again for your help!

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