Science Skills: A Problem Solving Activities Book
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Students also learn and practice critical thinking through the application of the scientific method of investigation.
Problem-Solving - TeacherVision
Each activity is a to minute guided experiment in which students are prompted to verbalize their step-by-step observations, predictions, and conclusions. Reproducible pictures or charts are included when needed, but the focus is inquiry-based, hands-on science.
Preparation time is short, and most materials can be found around the classroom. Step-by-step procedures, questions, answer guidelines, and clear illustrations are provided. Practical applications at the end of each activity relate science concepts to real-life experiences. These activities can be used successfully with a minimum of science knowledge, preparation time, and science equipment.
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Principles for teaching problem solving
Colleges Want to Know! Menu My Account. Search by Title, No. Quick Add to Shopping Cart. View Cart Continue. Grades: Science. Science is viewed as an active process of developing ideas, or "storybuilding," rather than as static bodies of already-existing knowledge to be passed on to students. Instead of merely describing what is taking place, the teacher guides the students through an inquiry process by asking pertinent, open-ended questions and by encouraging investigative process through demonstration, hands-on opportunities, and extension of experiments.
Students are encouraged to observe and describe their observations accurately and completely using scientific terminology. Scientific terms are defined, demonstrated with concrete examples, then applied and reinforced throughout the activities. An open, interactive atmosphere in the classroom is essential.
Students and their teacher actively investigate ideas together compared to a passive learning situation in which students are merely told the problem, given the answers, and expected to memorize the information. Through observation, hands-on participation, and verbalization of the physical and thought processes, students build a more concrete understanding of the concepts taught in the activities.
Identify various solutions. After the nature and parameters of a problem are understood, students will need to select one or more appropriate strategies to help resolve the problem. Students need to understand that they have many strategies available to them and that no single strategy will work for all problems. Here are some problem-solving possibilities:. Create visual images. Give students opportunities to engage in some trial-and-error approaches to problem-solving. It should be understood, however, that this is not a singular approach to problem-solving but rather an attempt to gather some preliminary data.
Create a table.
A table is an orderly arrangement of data. When students have opportunities to design and create tables of information, they begin to understand that they can group and organize most data relative to a problem.
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Use manipulatives. By moving objects around on a table or desk, students can develop patterns and organize elements of a problem into recognizable and visually satisfying components. Work backward. It's frequently helpful for students to take the data presented at the end of a problem and use a series of computations to arrive at the data presented at the beginning of the problem.
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Look for a pattern. Looking for patterns is an important problem-solving strategy because many problems are similar and fall into predictable patterns. A pattern, by definition, is a regular, systematic repetition and may be numerical, visual, or behavioral. Create a systematic list.
Recording information in list form is a process used quite frequently to map out a plan of attack for defining and solving problems. Encourage students to record their ideas in lists to determine regularities, patterns, or similarities between problem elements. Try out a solution. When working through a strategy or combination of strategies, it will be important for students to …. Keep accurate and up-to-date records of their thoughts, proceedings, and procedures. Recording the data collected, the predictions made, and the strategies used is an important part of the problem solving process.
Try to work through a selected strategy or combination of strategies until it becomes evident that it's not working, it needs to be modified, or it is yielding inappropriate data. As students become more proficient problem-solvers, they should feel comfortable rejecting potential strategies at any time during their quest for solutions. Monitor with great care the steps undertaken as part of a solution.
Feel comfortable putting a problem aside for a period of time and tackling it at a later time. For example, scientists rarely come up with a solution the first time they approach a problem. Students should also feel comfortable letting a problem rest for a while and returning to it later. Evaluate the results. It's vitally important that students have multiple opportunities to assess their own problem-solving skills and the solutions they generate from using those skills. Frequently, students are overly dependent upon teachers to evaluate their performance in the classroom.
The process of self-assessment is not easy, however. It involves risk-taking, self-assurance, and a certain level of independence. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Frequently Asked Questions on Inclusion. Lesson Methodologies Chart. Blank Graphic Organizer. Teacher Team Planning Form. Weekly Lesson Plan Form. Advice for Parent-Teacher Conferences. Spend more time teaching and less time searching. Get full, ad-free access to all our learning resources—curated and vetted by teachers and curriculum specialists—for one-low price.
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