## IPMUM Education

Math Musings# 5 Steps to Effective Problem-Solving Skills in Math

Albert Einstein said **“If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions”**

Many kids get anxious or stressed when it comes to solving Math word problems. They have no issues when doing basic Math calculations, however, when a Math question is presented as a story with many words, kids start to blank out.

I know. I’ve seen this look on their faces. They look at the question with 4 or 5 lines and they look at the marks and it says 5 marks, almost by instinct, they give up and say “I can’t do it. I don’t understand. It’s so tough”.

But.. what if I tell you it has nothing to do with their Math skills? It’s not the Math. All they need to do is to master Problem-Solving skills.

Parents, you can help your child. From my research, I have discovered these 5 steps to develop Effective Problem-Solving Skills and I’m going to share them with you.

The thing is …when coaching your child, **SHOW, DON’T TELL.** Don’t start by telling, start by asking.

Here are the ** 5 steps** you can use with your child.

**STEP 1 – READING. **

Parents, ASK your child – Can you read the question to me?

**STEP 2 – COMPREHENSION**

ASK – Can you tell me what the question is asking you to do?

**STEP 3 – TRANSFORMATION**

ASK – Which method would you use to find the answer?

**STEP 4 – PROCESS SKILLS**

ASK – Can you show me how to work out the answer step-by-step?

**STEP 5 – ENCODING**

ASK – Does your answer make sense?

By going through these 5 steps over and over again, your child will soon gain the confidence of solving Math word problems and will no longer look at long wordy Math questions with fear and anxiety again.