*Work out all the units of measurement so they are equal.For example, change all milliliter units into liters, converting the number as well.*

Resnick expressed the belief that 'school should focus its efforts on preparing people to be good adaptive learners, so that they can perform effectively when situations are unpredictable and task demands change' (p.18). Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics, Reston, Virginia: NCTM.

Cockcroft (1982) also advocated problem solving as a means of developing mathematical thinking as a tool for daily living, saying that problem-solving ability lies 'at the heart of mathematics' (p.73) because it is the means by which mathematics can be applied to a variety of unfamiliar situations.

Such motivation gives problem solving special value as a vehicle for learning new concepts and skills or the reinforcement of skills already acquired (Stanic and Kilpatrick, 1989, NCTM, 1989).

Approaching mathematics through problem solving can create a context which simulates real life and therefore justifies the mathematics rather than treating it as an end in itself.

As the emphasis has shifted from teaching problem solving to teaching via problem solving (Lester, Masingila, Mau, Lambdin, dos Santon and Raymond, 1994), many writers have attempted to clarify what is meant by a problem-solving approach to teaching mathematics.

The focus is on teaching mathematical topics through problem-solving contexts and enquiry-oriented environments which are characterised by the teacher 'helping students construct a deep understanding of mathematical ideas and processes by engaging them in doing mathematics: creating, conjecturing, exploring, testing, and verifying' (Lester et al., 1994, p.154). Read over the question again and compare the answer you have and whether it is it logical.Check that the units the answer is given in are the units required by the problem.Her design and copy for the "Mars' Hill" won the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker award in 2008.Lowe holds an Honors BA from Trinity Western University, and a MSc in Occupational Therapy from Queen's University where she is currently doing her Ph D. The combination of addition, multiplication and fractions in a problem often looks like a foreign language.However, by breaking a problem down into several steps, the math becomes more manageable because it begins to look like several small questions rather than one huge one.Specific characteristics of a problem-solving approach include: My early problem-solving courses focused on problems amenable to solutions by Polya-type heuristics: draw a diagram, examine special cases or analogies, specialize, generalize, and so on. Over the years the courses evolved to the point where they focused less on heuristics per se and more on introducing students to fundamental ideas: the importance of mathematical reasoning and proof..., for example, and of sustained mathematical investigations (where my problems served as starting points for serious explorations, rather than tasks to be completed). More recently the Council endorsed this recommendation (NCTM, 1989) with the statement that problem solving should underly all aspects of mathematics teaching in order to give students experience of the power of mathematics in the world around them. They see problem solving as a vehicle for students to construct, evaluate and refine their own theories about mathematics and the theories of others. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) (1980).

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