Everyday Mathematics encourages students to solve problems themselves. It's tempting to help your child by telling him/her how you would solve it. Instead of telling, try asking questions. Here are some questions you can ask your child to help him/her solve problems:
Supporting your child before a solution is found:
"Can you tell me what the question is?"
"Can you put the question in your own words?"
"Can you make the story about you and reword it?"
During the process, explore what your child has already done:
"Tell me what you've done so far."
"How is this (what's been done so far) connected to the problem?"
"Could you try another tool?"
"Does this remind you of any other problems you've done?"
"What strategy has worked for you before?" Mention a few if your child seems stuck: draw a picture, make an organized list or t-chart, look for a pattern, guess and check, etc.
After a solution is found:
Promote reflection by asking your child to explain his/her strategy.
Ask if there's another strategy she could have used.
Ask your child to try a second strategy.
Which of the two strategies was more efficient?
Ask your child to write an equation that represents the problem.
Last Modified on November 23, 2009