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# Problem Solving

Moneerah Bint-Usman
INTRODUCTION
Mathematics learning involves the
acquisition of knowledge and skills
especially problem solving skills. In
real life, problem solving becomes the
focus while knowledge is only the
accessory. This is because, not a
single day passes without having to
solve problems. So, there is the need
for the problem solving approach in
teaching mathematics.
WHAT IS A PROBLEM?
A problem is a statement or a
situation where there is an obstacle
between us and what we want.

## Problems are generally classified as

routine and non-routine.
WHAT IS PROBLEM SOLVING?
 Problem solving is the ability to
overcome or remove the obstacle
so that we can get what we want.
It is a process. It requires critical
thinking, ability to make decisions,
use the correct strategy to find the
solution and check the result.
MODEL FOR PROBLEM SOLVING
The most commonly used model is that of
George Polya (1973), who proposed 4
stages in problem solving, namely :
1. Understand the problem
2. Devise a strategy
3. Carry out the strategy
4. Check the result/ Look back
First Principle: Understand the Problem
 Do you understand all the words used in
stating the problem?
 What are you asked to find or show?
 Can you restate the problem in your own
words?
 Can you think of a picture or a diagram
problem?
 Is there enough information to enable
you to find a solution?
Second Principle: Devise a strategy
Recall: A partial list of strategies:
 Guess and check
 Make and orderly  Look for a pattern
list  Draw a picture
 Eliminate  Solve a simpler
possibilities problem
 Use symmetry  Use a model
 Consider special  Work backward
cases  Use a formula
Third Principle: Carry out the strategy

##  Carryingout your plan of the

solution, check each step. Can you see
clearly that the step is correct? Can you
prove that
Fourth it is correct?
Principle: Look back

## •Use another way to solve the same

problems.
•Can you use the result, or the method, for
some other problem?
What is…

Routine problem
Non-routine
problem
Routine problem
 defined as a problem in
mathematic lesson that involves
easy and simple problem solving.
It present a question to be
strategies. It means, the routine
problem can be solved by direct
application of previously learned
algorithms.
Example for routine problem:
Jella eat 2 piece of cakes. 5 minutes
later, she eat 1 more piece of cake.
How many piece of cakes that Jella
eat?

 Solution:
2 piece of cakes + 1 pieces
of cakes = 3 piece of cakes
Non-routine
 Non-routine problems tends to encourage
logical thinking, expand students’
understanding of concepts, develop
mathematical reasoning power, develop
students’ abilities to think in more
abstract ways and allow for a transfer of
mathematical skills to unfamiliar
situations.
QUESTION 1
Solve the following problems using
Polya’s model in 2 different
strategies.
 A police station has 25 vehicles
consisting of motorcycles and
cars. The total number of tires of
both motorcycles and cars equal
to 70. Find the number of
motorcycles and cars the station
First Strategy
Drawing or Sketches’s strategy.
 Step 1: FIND OUT
First, we must draw the vehicles with
two tires. Then, we must add the tires
until the number of tires equal to 70.
After that, we can see how many
motorcycles and cars.
 Step 2: CHOOSE A STRATEGY
How should we approach this problem?
We can make skatches.
 Step 3: SOLVE IT
Before we add 2 more tires to make the number of tires become
70:
OO OO OO OO OO
OO OO OO OO OO
OO OO OO OO OO
OO OO OO OO OO
OO OO OO OO OO
After we add 2 more tires to make the number of tires become 70:
OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO
OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO
OO OO OO OO OO
OO OO OO OO OO
OO OO OO OO OO
Step 4: LOOK BACK
 Did we answer the correct
seem reasonable? Yes. (If you
want to know our answer is
correct or not, you must count the
number of vehicle’s tires).
Second strategy
Make a Chart’s strategy
Step 1: FIND OUT
 What is the question we have to answer?
How many motorcycles and cars in the
police station.
 How many vehicles in the police station?
25 vehicles.
 How many number of vehicle’s tires in
police station? 70 tires.
 How many tires that motorcycles have? 2
tires.
 How many tires that cars have? 4 tires.
Step 2: CHOOSE A STRATEGY
 What strategy will help here? We could
also use equations. But, let’s make a
table.
 Step 3: SOLVE IT
 Firstly, we make a table with 5 rows and
3 columns. Then, we choose our target.
For example, in the police station have 6
cars and 19 motorcycles. So we can see
the total of vehicles in the police station
is 62 vehicles.
Then, we try and error with the same ratio
until we get the answer which are 15
motorcycles and 10 cars:
CARS MOTORCYCLES TOTAL OF VEHICLES
( 4 TIRES) (2 TIRES) (70 TIRES)

6 19 (6x4)+(19x2)=62
7 18 (7x4)+(18x2)=64

8 17 (8x4)+(17x2)=66

9 16 (9x4)+(16x2)=68

10 15 (10x4)+(15x2)=70
Calculation:
10 x 4 = 40 and 15 x 2 = 30. The total of
vehicles are 70 (40 + 30). The answer is
correct.

##  Step 4: LOOK BACK

Does our answer seem reasonable? Yes.
Example 2:
 Theday before yesterday I was
16 and the next year I will be 19.
This is true only one day in a year.
What day is my birthday?
Example 3:
Divide 30 by half and add ten.
What do you get?
Example 4:
 Sallyinvited 17 guests to a
Christmas hoedown. She
assigned each guest a number
from 2 to 18, keeping 1 for herself.
While everyone was dancing,
Sally noticed that the sum of each
couple's numbers was a perfect
square. What was the number of
Sally's partner?
Quiz
Noah’s Hardware has a number
of bikes and tricycles for sale.
There are 27 seats and 60
wheels all together. Determine
how many bikes there are and
how many tricycles there are.
Apply the George Polya’s
Model.
 On your book, page 343,
3, and 5.
Resources:
 www.slideshare.net/.../problem-solving-of-