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    problem solving
    By Joanne

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    There is a fantastic book called What's your problem? by Penny Skinner. I purchased this book for a primary course and it was the most worthwhile book I have purchased in a long time. It gives problem solving teaching, techniques, questions, activities everything over a 3 year period beginning around end of k to Grade 2. It gives you ideas how to implement, conference, and what to do with those students who do not succeed. I have used many ideas from there throughout the year and found them very useful, successful and fun. Here are just a few examples: There are 3 friends celebrating their birthday together. They all bring presents. How many presents are there? The children have to process information like you don't bring yourself a present. I have students stand up and carry a "present" I made from funfoam and some fabric paint for the bow. The situations are at their experience level making it easier to grasp. Also, there are 4 cows behind a fence- how many legs? There are 16 legs how many cows? Which colour of crayon is the most popular in the class? They have to come up with ways to solve this problem. Who has the biggest smile? They have to figure a way to measure. Mom wants to make omelettes for supper. She needs 5 eggs but only has 3. How many does she need to borrow from the neighbour? Data- how many pink (yellow, blue...) smarties are in a box? (I do this at Hallowe'en and then have the students draw how they think the smarties get into the box). This is just a drop in the bucket. If you really want to make a worthwhile purchase this book is it. I have used it for about 3 years and am constantly finding new problems to use. Good luck.

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