M.8 Year 4 Maths: To solve number and practical problems

In this video you will learn:

  • How to use different skills to solve problems
  • How to identify which technique to use 
  • What types of questions you might be asked

Problem-solving is one of the trickier areas of learning in maths. It involves using the foundations and methods you have learnt and applying them to problems. Not only that, but you need to identify what the problem is specifically asking of you, which is what most challenging. To help you, I have created a list of the main problem-solving techniques:

  • Trial and improvement- having a go at something, then tweaking the calculations in the right direction until you get there. 
  • Working systematically- finding an organised way of working through solutions so that you don’t ‘miss’ any options out.
  • Spotting patterns- identifying links and patterns early on enables us to use this information to solve a problem more efficiently. 
  • Working backwards- a way to solve problems using a different starting point can save time and allow to spot patterns more quickly.
  • Reasoning logically- being able to explain and justify solutions to problems using the knowledge you have is a significant way of problem-solving. 
  • Visualising- picturing or drawing out the situation builds on the concept of concrete and images to support learning.
  • Conjecturing- being able to see similarities and differences between and asking questions such as ‘what if..?’ means that ideas and concepts can be explored on a deeper level.