There are a couple of things you need to do when solving problems.Ask yourself exactly what type of information is being asked for: Is it one of addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division?
Mathematician George Pólya’s book, “How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method,” written in 1957, is a great guide to have on hand.It’s a simple process, but it will break down all the important elements of any math problem. Along the way to Seattle, a storm forces the plane to head north in order to get around it.The plane ends up crossing the Canadian border, but then has some engine trouble.The ideas below, which provide you with general steps or strategies to solve math problems, are similar to those expressed in Pólya’s book and should help you untangle even the most complicated math problem.Learning how to solve problems in mathematics is knowing what to look for.Math problems often require established procedures and knowing what procedure to apply.To create procedures, you have to be familiar with the problem situation and be able to collect the appropriate information, identify a strategy or strategies, and use the strategy appropriately. When deciding on methods or procedures to use to solve problems, the first thing you will do is look for clues, which is one of the most important skills in solving problems in mathematics.Once you’ve identified your clue words, highlight or underline them.This will let you know what kind of problem you’re dealing with.If you know what you are looking for and you can then name the pieces you need to find, even the most difficult problems become extremely manageable.For a simple example, let’s say you’ve been given a question and you realize you are being asked how tall a ladder you’ll need to paint a wall (I know, weird problem – but just go with it). (Looking for the answer to the Canada-United States question?