# Teacher's Role in Problem Solving

- Give suggestions not answers
- Offer a problem solving heuristic
- Teach a variety of problem solving strategies
- Allow time for the students to struggle with the problem
- Choose problems that require time to think through a solution
- Provide a variety of problems
- Allow students time to practice a heuristic and strategies
- Give similar or the same problem in different ways
- Ask questions that encourage students to:

- think divergently
- explain how they are thinking.
- to share strategies
- think of other ways that the same problem could be asked
- think of real life problems that are or relate to the problem
- discover different problems that can be solved with the same strategy
- discover multiple ways to solve the problem
- reflect or check their solutions
- reflect and discuss how they imagined a certain strategy might be possible
- explain why they have confidence in their solutions
- Provide encouragement and appreciation:

- appreciate different solutions and strategies
- encourage students to find multiple solutions to a problem
- encourage students to take time to solve problems
- compliment students on good problem solving strategies whether they reach a solution or not
- make sure students know what a compliment or praise specifically relates to about the problem and problem solving
- encourage students to keep trying and to learn by correcting mistakes
- let students know that problem solving is difficult and rewarding
- share and discuss attitudes and dispositions that are conducive to problem solving
- Be a role model:

- solve problems yourself
- make problem solving a top priority
- let students know that problem solving is an integral part of your curriculum
- look for and comment on problem - solving situations anywhere they occur
- imbed teaching and learning in a problem - solving format
- use sketches, manipulatives, charts, graphs, and any other kind of representation that can thought of
- Use problem solving strategies and vocabulary

Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©