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Inside Problem Solving

The Inside Problem Solving problems are non-routine math problems designed to promote problem-solving in your classroom. Each problem is divided into five levels of difficulty, Level A through Level E, to allow access and scaffolding for students into different aspects of the problem and to stretch students to go deeper into mathematical complexity. The problems were developed by the Silicon Valley Mathematics Initiative and are aligned to the Common Core standards.

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Inside Problem Solving

Why Problem Solving?

Problem solving is the cornerstone of doing mathematics. George Polya, a famous mathematician from Stanford, once said, "A problem is not a problem if you can solve it in 24 hours." His point was that a problem that you can solve in less than a day is usually a problem that is similar to one that you have solved before, or at least is one where you recognize that a certain approach would lead to the solution. Bu t in real life, a problem is a situation that confronts you and you don’t have an idea of where to even start. Mathematics is the toolbox that solves so many problems. Whether it is calculating an estimate measure, modeling a complex situation, determining the probability of a chance event, transforming a graphical image or proving a case using deductive reasoning, mathematics is used. If we want our student s to be problem solvers and mathematically powerful, we must model perseverance and challenge students with non-routine problems.