## NRICH PROBLEM SOLVING TRIAL AND IMPROVEMENT

Is problem solving at the heart of your curriculum? In her article Developing Excellence in Problem Solving with Young Learners , Jennie Pennant suggests that as teachers we can help children get better at problem solving in three main ways, one of which is through ‘explicitly and repeatedly providing children with opportunities to develop key problem-solving skills’. Register for our mailing list. DfES Publications Here is a pdf version of this article: We believe that this approach offers the opportunity for rich, embedded learning. Age 5 to 7 Working Backwards at KS1 The lower primary tasks in this collection could each be solved by working backwards.

The stages of the problem-solving process The problem-solving process can usually be thought of as having four stages: Register for our mailing list. Fifteen Cards Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level: What this idea of different types does offer, however, is a way of giving children the experience of a similar type of problem over a number of weeks so that they can gain some proficiency. Factor-multiple Chains Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level: How many Zios and how many Zepts were there?

# Trial and Improvement at KS2 :

This all rrial time, attention and practice. Use the information to find out how many discs of each colour there are in the box. Age 5 to 7 Reasoning and Convincing at KS1 The tasks in this collection can be used to encourage children to convince others of their reasoning, using ‘because’ statements.

The skills needed for a problem-solving task By this we mean the problem-solving skills listed above in Stage 2: Eggs in Baskets Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level: Heads and Feet Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level: What would help you understand the problem?

Can you use the information given to find out how many eggs are in each basket? These lower primary tasks all specifically draw on the use of visualising. Two-digit Targets Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level: The fourth article builds on the third by discussing what we mean by problem-solving skills and how NRICH can help children develop these skills.

The upper primary tasks in this collection could each be solved by working backwards.

# Problem Solving :

Four Colours Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level: The tasks in this collection encourage lower primary proboem to conjecture and generalise. The lower primary tasks in this collection could each be solved by working backwards. Area and Perimeter Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level: Tasks for KS2 children which focus on working systematically.

Have a go at these tasks which might be solved using this ‘trial and improvement’ way of working.

You have a set of the digits from 0 — 9. Factor-multiple Chains Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level: To become fluent at trial and improvement they need to be able to think about how to adapt their first guess so that it is more likely to become a solution rather nrjch throwing the first one out and starting again.

Children will need support to develop their proficiency with written recording.

When starting to explore Dice in a Corner children may well put the dice together at random and be surprised when they get the magic total of Five Steps to 50 Age 5 to improvemeht Challenge Level: Can you use the information to find out which cards I have used? In this article for teachers, Lynne explains why it should be.

The tasks in this collection can be used to encourage children to convince others of their reasoning, using ‘because’ statements. Also in the concluding part of the problem-solving adventure children will need to be supported to compare different strategies that were used to solve the problem in order to consider the efficiency of the nrihc and the elegance of the solution.

## Trial and Improvement at KS2

Getting started Stage prbolem Four-digit Targets Age 7 to 11 Challenge Nnrich Working on the problem will usually involve using one or several problem-solving skills such as: What strategies did you use? The children will benefit from becoming proficient in each of these skills and working solvig one of them as a key focus in a lesson or series of lessons could be a useful strategy.

Being a competent and confident problem solver is central to the mathematical development of all our learners. These upper primary tasks all specifically draw on the use of visualising. It will help the children become fluent in these if you take every opportunity to explicitly talk about them and use the appropriate language when they occur in games or larger problem-solving activities.