Monday Book Study: Chapter 1

Today is the start of a new book study hosted by Donna at Math Coach's Corner. There are eight chapters, so you have plenty of time to get the book. We are reading "What's Your [Math] Problem? by Linda Gojak.

Chapter One: The Five Ws and an H of Problem Solving

A few thoughts gleaned form chapter one:

1. WHAT is problem solving?
engaging in a task for which the solution method is not known in advance
a goal of learning mathematics and a major means of doing so

Chapter one includes a lot of discussion about the difference between routine and non-routine problems, problems that require procedural knowledge or develop conceptual knowledge.

2. WHY teach problem solving?
we use mathematical problem solving in our daily lives
it is problem solving that makes mathematics meaningful in our daily lives

3. WHO should solve problems?
everyone needs to be able to solve problems every day

There is a great chart recommending developmentally appropriate problem solving strategies.

4. WHEN should we solve problems?
problem solving should be a part of every mathematics class.

A chart suggesting times when problem solving could occur throughout the day is included.

5. HOW should we teach problem solving?

6. WHERE can you find good problems?

Some websites that have problem solving resources are included.

So, how to incorporate problem solving that goes beyond the typical procedural problems in the math series? I'm looking forward to learning from this book. My principal asked me to do math intervention at the end of the day with some of our third graders who are the "on the bubble" students -- with a bit of help we think they can be on grade level for the state test. I am sure that learning more about problem solving is going to help me plan meaningful activities for them.


  1. This looks like it could be a great resource. Please keep us posted on your thoughts as you read. I can't put one more professional resource on my plate right now, so I've got to glean what I can from you. :)

    The Teaching Thief

  2. I know what you mean! I'm going to try to keep up with this, because it's so applicable for my room; we'll see!


  3. Nooooooooo....... I want to but I can't. This looks like an A+ professional read. I can't do it though. I hope to learn from the blogs but I can't read another professional book right now- I studied Daily 5, Cafe, Words Their Way and the Book Whisperer this summer. My brain is on overload.

  4. I bought the book--but couldn't remember who was hosting the book share. I will crack it open tonight and read, read, read!

    I have hosting a giveaway--come over and enter!! You could win a laminator!


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