Project 3 - Problem Solving on the Internet

  General Information

Lead Teacher(s):
Mrs. M. Curran
School: St. Patrick's
Grade Level: 4
Number of Students: 24
Project Start and Finish Dates: September/98
Project's URL:

  Project Overview

This project was developed as a direct response to the demands of the present day curriculum where the topic of Problem Solving is listed as a separate component of the Math Program. No longer is problem solving treated as an activity that accompanies a computational skills and all problems are consequently solved using that same suggested operation. This project will not only deepen knowledge of concepts but expose students to the following seven strategies that can be used to solve problems:
  • looking for a pattern
  • guessing & checking
  • making a chart/table
  • working backwards
  • drawing a picture
  • making a list
  • using logical reasoning

These strategies are presently emphasized in the Elementary Math Curriculum and students are taught these at various intervals. In this project students will meet similar problems on the Internet and use their prior knowledge as a motivating factor in solving meaningful problems. Students will be encouraged to use the non-routine strategies (listed above) in solving these problems and also to use a variety of these strategies to solve each problem.
In the beginning 3 problems per week will appear on the Internet. (Solutions will be provided the following week when the next set of problems are displayed). Secondly, these problems included will be presented in the order in which they are taught in the program. In this way the work done in the classroom and the Internet Project will complement each other.

  Curriculum Connections

Many of the topics and ideas presented in these problems will have direct and indirect connection with the many topics covered in all the components of the Elementary School Curriculum. However, for purposes of this project the major focus will be to have students show increased confidence in solving problems which utilize the concepts and skills developed throughout the elementary grades. Consequently, this project is mainly directed at the Math Curriculum as it will complement the work presented in the Gr. 4 - 6 Math Program. However, many of the ideas/topics that are presented in the problem will definitely overlap into other curriculum areas. Secondly, the students become aware that there are many problem solving strategies to use and that there may be more than one solution to solving a problem.

  1. Students will learn to use E-Mail to send problem solving information to various schools.
  2. Students will improve their self-concept with respect to their ability to solve problems.
  3. Students will learn to do a web search to gather information about other problem- solving projects.
  4. Students will learn how to create a section of their school's home page.
  5. Students will learn to collect data and present it in the form of graphs, tables, and charts.
  6. Students will learn to publish their data using W.W.W. as their platform.
  7. Students will gain an appreciation of the different non-routine strategies of problem solving.
  8. Students will use more than one problem solving strategy to solve a problem.
  9. Students will use computer technology to solve various non-routine problems.

  Resource Connections

Problem solving is considered a life-long strategy that can be applied to so many facets of life. Whether it be curriculum or home, life or community, all these are part of the student's life. In order for our students to participate in the project, a of the School


Evaluation for this project will not be limited to a check for correct answers. An attempt will be made to assess the process used by students and their attitudes towards their problem solving abilities. Problem solving performances improve over a relatively long period of time but the main intent of the project is not to grade students. The project can be evaluated in respect of the following outcomes:
  • student knowledge of various strategies and attempts to use them
  • student using various strategies to solve the problem
  • student improvement in attitude toward problem solving

  Project Summary

Summaries will be added as they become available.

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