How do i teach problem-solving to a 6-year old

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How do i teach problem-solving to a 6-year old

Postby optimistforum » Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:00 am

Hi

My DS can do very good straight maths, ie add up, subtract, multiply and divide - but he cannnot problem-solve when he needs to do 2 or more steps of processing.

Eg we did a question. There are 9 dogs in a kennel, 6 leave and 4 come in. How many dogs left, altogether?

Ideally he should break it down as

9-6 =3

3+4 =7

Any idea how I can get my son to think this way, and show his workings to demonstrate that he has applied the correct skills?

Essentially, I would like some hints on how to get him to successfully and quickly tackle proble-solving type questions.
optimistforum
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Postby NormalDistribution » Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:59 am

Have u tried doing step-by-step?
For example, after establishing that there are 9 dogs in the kernel, explicitly test his understanding of the phrase "6 leave". If he do not understand immediately, resort to using physical objects or drawing of simple diagrams (not models yet but perhaps 9 dogs' faces and circle 6 of them). After he understand the physical meaning he can move on the procedural meaning of 9-6.

Then if he understand the first step can move to "4 come in".

However judging from what you said, i presume he can probably solve a 1 step problem sum. In that case teach him to see step-by-step by covering up the "4 come in" part.
Its important to him to be able to learn how to see step-by-step by following the english phrases in sequence.

Please comment whether this works for him.

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Postby Guest » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:35 am

Maybe you can try teaching him in a story form if he likes stories?

Tell him like a story to get him interested
Then next step is to teach him how to sieve out the key words for action.

Hope this helps.
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Postby optimistforum » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:30 pm

I have purchased the EPH publications Challenging Maths, by Sandya Sundhar. I believe these are great. They are out-of-print. Anyone know where I can by P1 to P6. Popular do not sell. I would like to purchase another set for younger son.
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Postby cafelatte » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:43 pm

I use PSP by Fabian Ng as the story sums start from simple to more complex :

https://www.popular.com.sg/jsp/product/ ... d001=70347

Image

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Postby optimistforum » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:10 pm

Hi cafelatte

I had a look at EPH website for the examples. It is a very difficult book; what is your perception of it? Also, cannot see a P1 to P6 series in it. Am I wrong?

What do you think of Andrew Er books.

However, idf anyone can shed light on the CHallenging Maths P1 to P6 series by Sandya Sundhar, as I would like to find placed to buy them from.
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Postby cafelatte » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:25 pm

It is available from P2-P6. I find it very systematic. It starts with a simpler one step problem with a detailed example and 5 questions for the child to complete understand the concept then move on to adding another concept/step. It is impossible to complete all the questions for each step and also the review questions. I get my child to work through 1-2 questions and if he already grasped the concept, I move on to the next section.

I was using Andrew Er's books before I switched to Fabian Ng's. I also attended a for-parents-Maths workshop by Mr Er himself. My personal opinion is the books are alright but I prefer Fabian's for the systematic approach.

Sorry I can't help about the books by Sandya Sundhar. Perhaps an email to the publisher to ask for help ?

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Postby optimistforum » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:27 pm

One final question

I have purchased a suite of books by Terry Chew, called Maths Olympiad. Are these worth persevering with; they are essentially problem-solving books.
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Postby cafelatte » Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:47 pm

Over here, there are Maths Olympiad competitions and pupils who have good maths sense are trained to solved those questions and compete. Typically, the school Maths exam papers will include 1-2 (we are seeing more these days, sometimes 3) Maths-Olympiad kind of questions. My personal opinion is that these are high-order thinking questions and worth persevering if the child has a good grasp of the basic Maths concepts already.

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Postby clarabella » Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:52 pm

optimistforum wrote:I have purchased the EPH publications Challenging Maths, by Sandya Sundhar. I believe these are great. They are out-of-print. Anyone know where I can by P1 to P6. Popular do not sell. I would like to purchase another set for younger son.


Hi optimistforum
I saw the Challenging Maths series by Sandhya Sundar at Popular, just recently. The sales staff told me that they have been re-issued. I checked the P1 and P2 books; the current edition is published in 2009. But, strangely, the series doesn't show up on Popular's website. :?

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