# Strategies for Solving Mathematical Problems

Work it backwards

- Mazes
- A king one day decided to send out his knights in search of mathematical wisdom. One day the king ordered some of his Royal Guard to search throughout the kingdom for mathematical wisdom. They did not return. On the second day he sent out four more knights than he had sent out the day before. Each day the king kept sending out four more knights than he had the day before. Twenty - two knights left the castle on the fifth day. How many knights in all did the king send to look for mathematical wisdom?
- Chirs was broke on Friday before she received her weekly envelop of spending money. On Friday night she spent $1.25. On Saturday her brother paid her a $1 he owed her. How much was in Chris's envelop if she now has $2.25?

Guess and check, trial and error

* Chris and Sue saw some birds and dogs in the park. Chris said, "We saw 18 birds and dogs." Sue said, "Yes, and they had a total of 52 legs." How many birds and dogs did they see?

Use a graphical representation

Draw a picture, diagram, web, outline, graph, table, list, Venn diagram, and dichotomous key

- Six people entered a tiddle-winks tournment. Each player played each other person one time. How many games were played?
- A lizard lives inside a ten meter well. As the temperature increases each day as summer approaches the lizard crawls up the wall 5 meters. However, as it cools off at night it crawls back down 4 meters. If it does this each day in a row. how many days will it take before it gets to the top of the well?

Make or use a model or an equation

*

Look for a pattern

- number, letter, size, rotation, shading, shape, position, subtraction, addition, reflection, multiplication, and recursive

Organize data to look for a pattern or sequence

- a chart, graph, Venn diagram, or lists

Solve a simpler problem

- Use smaller numbers

Think of a similar problem

Look for clue words

Make an analogy

Process of elimination or process of identification

Try a completely different approach

Act it out or use objects

- Six people entered a tiddle-winks tournment. Each player played each other person one time. How many games were played?

Use logical reasoning: matrices, deductive, inductive, truth tables

Brainstorming

Use equivalent numbers 3/5, 6/10, 60/100, .6, 60%

Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©