*I could say I have a problem for homework, a problem with my brother, and a problem with my car, and all three mean very different things.On a sheet of paper I want you to brainstorm as many different kinds of problems as you can and be ready to share with the class.Students are then shown the four steps of the problem solving process and work together to relate these abstract steps to their actual experiences solving problems.*

Define: Understanding the problem when it was assigned, examining available resources, finding problems with their original design before deciding how to fix them, looking at problems with other groups' boats Step 1: Introduce and as a class review the descriptions of the four steps in the process by reading them aloud.

Answer or discuss any questions students have about the process but otherwise move on to completing the first section of the activity guide.

Goal: This conversation aims to demonstrate that problems and problem solving are a part of everyday life.

Use this brainstorm to list as many different kinds of problems on the board as you can.

In this discussion you might lean more heavily on other students to ensure that the strategies and steps being offered by students seem to fit the definitions of the 4 steps provided on the activity guide.

Discuss: Have students share what they wrote with a neighbor and then once again lead a discussion of the conversations they had.

Make Categories: You may want to group problems into larger categories during this conversation and invite students to help you do so.

For example, if two suggestions are "finding my keys" and "finding my homework" suggest a larger category of "finding lost things".

Your goal is to use the shared context of the aluminum boats problem to understand this process.

Here's a possible set of steps students may come up with.

## Comments Math Problem Solving Process

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