Problem-solving strategies have to be taught.
Does it ever surprise you when a student doesn’t know how to solve a problem? Sometimes students don’t have a wide enough array of strategies. Problem-solving strategies give students a mechanism for identifying elements of a problem, determining a course of action, and checking the answer. We have videos, games and presentations to help you teach.
Games with Problem-Solving Strategies
Students need to learn to define or identify the problem within a math exercise, determine the cause of the problem, and develop strategies to solve it. We can recommend the following games for Grades 3-5. Students can learn math problem-solving strategies and get in some valuable practice on their multiplication and division skills. These games are also cross-curricular in Native American history and social studies, so your students will be introduced to Dakota, Lakota, and Ojibwe tribal history and culture.
Visit Spirit Lake: The Game
This game teaches problem-solving strategies, multiplication, division and Dakota history. It plays on Mac and Windows computers. It must be installed on your device.
Visit Making Camp Premium
- Teaches problem-solving strategies, multiplication, division, Ojibwe history and English Language Arts. Runs on Windows, Mac, Chromebook, iOS and Android.
Visit Making Camp Lakota
- Teaches problem-solving strategies, division and Lakota history. Can be played in English or Lakota. This game is free. Runs on Windows, Mac, Chromebook, iOS and Android.
Visit Making Camp Ojibwe
- Teaches problem-solving strategies, division and Ojibwe history. This game is free. Runs on Windows, Mac, Chromebook, iOS and Android.
PowerPoints on Problem-Solving
Download free PowerPoint slides and PDFs here. Each of these lessons has a Spanish-language version.
Ten Grade 7 PowerPoint Presentations
Our videos on problem-solving are available below. Some are available in both English and Spanish. Click on a video title below. The embedded video will appear in a new window.
- Build a Model – Sometimes it’s easier to understand a problem if you make it solid, using your own model. The Spanish version, Construyendo un Modelo, is included in the web page link.
- How to Solve a Problem: Make it an Easier Problem For elementary school – Make a subtraction problem easier by regrouping. Using the example of subtraction with three-digit numbers, this video shows how to solve a problem by making it into an easier problem.
- Start at the End – Are you not sure what the problem is asking? Here’s a tip, most often what you need to do to solve a problem is at the end.
- Video: To Solve a Math Problem, Visualize! – This video shows how visualizing a word problem can make it simpler to solve if you use objects to imagine amount of numbers being counted in certain problems.
Video: Problem-Solving – Word Problems and Division – Students learn to write down the numbers and what they represent.
How To Solve Timeline Problems With B.C.E. – This helpful video helps students how to read a timeline and calculate for years that occurred Beyond the Current Era (B.C.E.).
- Make it an Easier Problem Solve a problem by making it into two or three easier problems. Appropriate for Grades 3-5. Spanish language version is available.