Helping your child to solve
problems in mathematics at home
00/00/2013 Emma Blackman
There is greater emphasis on-
• fluency with understanding
• quick accurate recall
• problem solving
• use of mathematical vocabulary to communicate,
justify or prove
• mental expectations are explicit
• algebra is explicit in 6
What is problem solving?
Cognitive process directed at achieving a
goal when no solution is obvious to the
Related to thinking, reasoning, decision
making, critical thinking and creative
What knowledge does your child
need to become a successful
O Knowledge of facts
O Knowledge of concepts
O Knowledge of procedures
O Knowledge of strategies
Problem Solving Strategies
O Guess ( and check or improve)
O Act it out
O Make a table or list
O Working backwards
O Simplify the problem
O Find all the possibilities
Questions to think, reason and explain
O How can we get started on this problem?
O What do you already know that could get
us started on this problem?
O What pattern can you see? What reasons
might there be for this pattern?
O Can you explain what is happening?
O Which is the best method to use? Why?
O What could we look at next?
Activities to support your child
O Keep it to real life
O Use stories or their favourite film
O Deliver it through your child’s interest
O Create your own Rainbow fish using a
selection of colours.
O Can you create a repeating pattern e.g.
red scale, blue scale, yellow scale.
Aliens Love Underpants
O Have blank underpants, add a repeating pattern
O Create an alien or a rocket with 2d shapes. Can you
name the shapes.
How many different ways
could we make the following
amounts of money?
Mama Panya’s Pancakes
Pancakes are eaten all around the
world. They have different names in
different countries. Recipe for the
Ingredients: make six pancakes
O 150gms plain flour
O 500mls cold water
O 5 tablespoons of sunflower oil
O ½ teaspoon salt
O ½ teaspoon nutmeg
O ½ teaspoon red chilli flakes
How much would you need to
make different quantities of
pancakes? E.g. three pancakes;
12 pancakes; 15 pancakes.
O Look at the types of fruits that
are grown in Kenya/ Africa.
(Mango, papaya, pineapple,
banana, lemons, oranges,
pawpaw and guava all grow
O True or false?
O An orange weighs more than
a two lemons.
O I want exactly a kilo of fruit,
which ones can I buy?
Dougal’s Deep Sea Diary
Explore these statements and say
whether they are True or False,
giving your reasoning why they are
or are not true:
There are 3600 seconds in an
There are 1440 minutes in a day.
There are 8760 hours in a year.
300 minutes is longer than four
O What are 40 winks?
O Calculate how many days
(and as an extension –
hours or even minutes)
until the next school
Problem solving in sport
Arsenal have gained …. Points in … games. How many
times have they won, drawn and lost?
At a football game a ticket cost £35.00 There are 20
home games. A) If a season ticket costs £625, how
much would a football supporter save. B) How many
games would a football supporter need to attend for it
become more profitable to buy a season ticket?
11 people play in a game at one time. How
many players will there be on the pitch at
Problem solving in the kitchen
O Time duration – placing things in the oven
O Measuring liquids and converting
Problem solving in the bathroom
O Do I use more water in the bath or in the
shower? How could I find out? What
measuring equipment would I need?
O If I want to cut my water bill down by 10%.
How much water would I need to save?
O If it takes 5 minutes to fill a bath with
100L, how long would it take to fill 40 L?
Finding all the different
O How many different ways (order) could the
three toy cars drive across the bridge?
O How could we record that?
O How could we check that we have all the
Suzie made some cakes. She put them on
plates in groups of 10. She had 8 full plates
and 7 cakes left over. How many cakes did she
Act it out
Table or List
O Each week Grandma gives me a 20p coin
and a 5p coin. I save them in my piggy
O How long will it take me to save up £1.00?
O How much will I save in a month? In a
O How much will I have saved by week 10?
O George says, “It will take me 18 weeks to
save up to buy a book costing £4.75”. Is
Each of the following shapes has a value:
= 7 =17 =?
The value of the circle changes in each of the
Can you discover its value in each problem, if the
value of the shapes are being added together?
Finding the missing values, early algebra…