Teaching Problem-Solving skills through maths

Jul 8, 2022 | Upper Mount Gravatt

In today’s world, finding HOW to solve a problem is critical, not just knowing WHAT the correct answer of a straight maths operations.


Why Problem-Solving skills are important

Your child is excellent in doing straight maths operations like multiplication, addition and subtraction? That’s good. But are they able to analyze and solve problems in word problems? Can they solve maths problems that require application of those straight operations like reasoning, proportional thinking,  etc.? It’s one thing to know straight maths operations, it’s a different skillset that is necessary to apply this knowledge to solve a problem.

Today’s jobs, with technology now doing many calculations for us, require the person behind it who can solve problems, and not just doing the repetitive tasks that can be done by computers. Teaching them problem solving skills since early is preparing them for real life, both their professional and personal life.


How to introduce Problem Solving skills to young learners

Problem Solving skills are not only used in lengthy word problems. You can teach your younger child to apply their maths knowledge and skills – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division – by first making sense of and solve simple problems. Below are some examples of simple problem-solving questions:

  • How many months in three years? 24 months equal how many years?
  • If you see 12 cat’s legs, how many cats are there? How many legs do 3 chickens have?
  • Two consecutive numbers add up to 5. What are the numbers?
  • If three cookies cost 15 cents, how much do 9 cookies cost?


Key points to solve word problems

When solving word problems, it is important to know what the question is asking. There are several strategies that can help your child unlock the meaning of word problems.

  1. Read and understand the problem. Reread several times, if necessary, and look for key words. Keywords will tell you what operation to use.
  2. Plan how to attack the problem. It often helps to draw a picture.
  3. Solve the problem. Write and solve a maths sentence.
  4. Validate/check your answer; make sure your answer is reasonable.

Introduce one-step problem solving at the beginning and then move to multi-step problems. The complexity of the problems can start from addition/subtraction, then expanded to multiplication/division, fractions, proportional thinking, and so on.


How Mathnasium Method helps students in problem solving skills

Here is what one parent said in their review about Mathnasium of Upper Mount Gravatt “My daughter was finding high school math very challenging. She found that Mathnasium really helped break down the concepts to make them more manageable. She enjoyed her time and feels a lot more confident in maths now.”

Yes, even when teaching them simple maths operations, Mathnasium teach for understanding, which will help them in solving more complex problems down the road. We understand that maths is about reasoning, and not just about memorization and following a set of procedures. It’s about training the mind to think, not just about to find the correct answer. As expressed in the review above, we teach students to exercise their analytical thinking by breaking down a problem into manageable parts.

Mathnasium’s mission goes beyond helping kids with maths; it’s about learning through math and building up students’ lifelong skills of problem solving, processing, and opening their eyes to different ways solutions can be reached.



Mathnasium of Upper Mount Gravatt is your neighbourhood’s maths-only learning centre, and we are here to help your child. We would be happy to meet you! We are conveniently located near Garden City at 2036 Logan Road,Upper Mount Gravatt, QLD - 4113 and the phone number is 0493121390. 

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