# What Is Problem Solving In Mathematical Learning

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For many students who struggle with mathematics, word problems are just a jumble of words and numbers.

When the class comes back together later in the lesson, Mr.

Garcia will invite a few pairs to present their problems and solutions, specifically choosing students who are able to provide clear explanations.

Garcia's Grade 3 students are proficient at multiplying and dividing numbers up to 100.

Most are able to apply their skills to solve word problems, but several students are still struggling — in particular, they have difficulty articulating explanations for their solutions. Garcia's students have been building a class website, through which they share useful resources with other third-grade students and show parents their progress in class. Garcia decides that his next lesson will reinforce their understanding of problem-solving strategies in alignment with the CCSS on mathematical practice (see above).

However, you can help students make sense of these problems by teaching them problem-solving processes.

Indeed, as students move forward in their mathematical learning, they will need to apply problem-solving processes to more and more complex situations so they become college and career ready.

The first Common Core State Standard (CCSS) for mathematical practice focuses specifically on problem solving: Proficient students are able to explain the meaning of a problem and look for entry points to its solution.

They are able to analyze givens, constraints, relationships, and goals.

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