Increasing Problem Solving Skills in Fifth Grade Advanced Mathematics Students

Jobrina Gale Ellison


Because No Child Left Behind (NCLB) calls for every student to make gains during every school year, even advanced students who are already performing at the top must make these gains. Teachers need to find areas to target with advanced students. One area that could be targeted to strengthen is problem solving skills. Research shows that daily practice and strategy instruction in problem solving skills will increase students’ problem solving abilities. I dedicated 5-10 minutes per day to problem solving practice and strategy instruction for a five week period. Pre- and post-assessment data were collected using confidence surveys constructed by the teacher and problem solving tests to show growth from the beginning to the end of the study. Results indicate that although confidence in problem solving did not show notable increases, there was evidence indicating an increase in problem solving skills both in correct answers and strategy knowledge.


Mathematics Instruction, Problem-Solving

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