Resources and Tools for Elementary Math Specialists and Teachers
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Improving Mathematical Problem Solving in Grades 4 Through 8

This 86-page practice guide (pdf) provides educators with five specific, evidence-based recommendations for improving students' mathematical problem solving in grades 4 through 8 by incorporating such activities into regular instruction. The guide contains detailed suggestions and strategies for carrying out each recommendation, including potential roadblocks with possible approaches for overcoming them. It concludes by suggesting a four-step process for incorporating the recommendations into a lesson. The guide includes an extensive list of references.
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Contributed by: Institute of Education Sciences (IES) - Publisher, John Woodward (Chair), et al. - Author, What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) - Initiator
This resource is included in the following PD Collection(s):
Learning Math Through Problem SolvingThis professional development collection supports teachers as they learn to use problem solving as a vehicle for teaching mathematics. Resources include video clips from actual classrooms, articles that relate helpful techniques and strategies, and several online courses that help teachers to advance problem-solving with their classes. This collection supports Practice Standard 1 and the Problem Solving Process Standard.
Math TopicMathematical Practices, Mathematical Processes
Grade Level4, 5, 6+
Resource TypeInstructional Strategy, Reference Materials

  • Additional Information
    • AudienceAdministrator, Educator, Professional/Practitioner
    • LanguageEnglish (USA)
    • Education TopicCurriculum, Teaching strategies
    • Interdisciplinary Connection
    • Professional DevelopmentYes
    • ContributorInstitute of Education Sciences (IES) - Publisher, John Woodward (Chair), et al. - Author, What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) - Initiator
    • Publication Date2012-05
    • RightsCopyright (c) 2012 U.S. Department of Education
    • AccessFree access
  • Standards
    • Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

      Select a standards document: