I need some help, if you have a few minutes. I am looking for some quality blog posts and/or websites which offer the following:
Stories from the Front: On the ground experiences of teachers teaching problem solving in the math… the good, the bad, the ugly
War Strategies: Different ways teachers actually do problem solving in the classroom, and maybe some hints/tips/technqiues (e.g. whiteboarding, Moore Method, Harkness Table, problem sets, grouping ideas, hint tokens, etc.)
Weapons: Good websites (or books) which contain good math problem solving problems (e.g. Exeter problem sets, AMC questions, etc.). My personal thought on questions is that they don’t need to be hard to be problem solving… In fact, the harder the problems are, the less accessible and fun the problem solving will be, and the more my kids will be turned off.
What I’m not really looking for is Polya’s How To Solve It, which is great reading but lacks in the day-to-day practicality and concreteness I’m looking for. I don’t need to know what problem solving is (like Potter Stewart, I know it when I see it), or read philosophical exhortations about how important it is in promoting meaningful and deep learning. I want practicality. Stories, resources, tips, etc.
If I get some responses in the comments, I will compile them into either a comprehensive post, or if there are a lot, I’ll make a new page (a la the Virtual Filing Cabinet) for it.
The reason behind this is selfish, but I’m hoping the output could be collectively useful. My department is thinking seriously about how to integrate problem solving into our curricula… and I wanted to show them: “hey, there are a ton of good ideas from teachers who do it!”
So if you could help a teacher out…
PS. Not to make you jealous, but yesterday I designed and ordered these buttons! (You have to recognize I don’t know what I’m doing with Photoshop, so the pictures aren’t all that great. And these buttons have a large bleed area, so the text will actually be just near the outer rim of the button instead of with all that blank space between the text and the outside of the pin.)