Strategies


Paul's Wheel of Reasoning









Polya's 4 Principles of Problem Solving 
Link: https://math.berkeley.edu/~gmelvin/polya.pdf


Step 1: 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 diagram that might help you understand the problem?
Is there enough information to enable you to find a solution?

Step 2: Devise a plan
A partial list of strategies
  • Guess and check
  • Look for a pattern
  • Make an orderly list
  • Draw a picture
  • Eliminate possibilities
  • Solve a simpler problem
  • Use symmetry
  • Use a model
  • Consider special cases
  • Work backwards
  • Use direct reasoning
  • Use a formula
  • Solve an equation
  • Be ingenious
Step 3: Carry out the plan

Step 4: Look back

  • To reflect and look back at what you have done, what worked, and what didn’t.
  • Doing this will enable you to predict what strategy to use to solve future problems.






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