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5 Ways to Include Math Problem Solving Activities in Your Classroom

Are you looking for math problem solving activities that are not too easy and not too hard, but juuust right? I’ve got something just for you and your students.

Solve and Explain Problem Solving Tasks are open-ended math tasks that provide just the right amount of challenge for your kids. Here’s a little more about them.

Open-ended math problem solving tasks:

  • promote multiple solution paths and/or multiple solutions
  • boost critical thinking and math reasoning skills
  • increase opportunities for developing perseverance
  • provide opportunities to justify answer choices
  • strengthen kids written and oral communication skills
math problem solving activities organization

What Makes These So Great?

  • All Common Core Standards are covered for your grade level
  • 180+ Quality questions that are rigorous yet engaging
  • They are SUPER easy to assemble
  • Provide opportunities for meaningful math discussions
  • Perfect for developing a growth mindset
  • Easily identify student misconceptions so you can provide assistance
  • Very versatile (check out the different ways to use them below)

You can find out more details for your grade level by clicking on the buttons below.

I’m sure you really want to know how can you use these with your kids. Check out the top 5 ideas on how to use Solve and Explain Problem Solving Tasks in your classroom.

How and When Can I Use Them?

Solve and Explain Tasks Cards are very versatile. You can use them for:

  • Math Centers – This is my favorite way to use these! Depending on your grade level, there are at least two (Kinder – 2nd) or three (3rd-5th) tasks types per Common Core standard. And each task type has 6 different questions. Print out each of the different tasks types on different color paper. Then, let students choose which one question from each task type they want to solve.
math problem solving activities task cards and recording sheets
  • Problem of the Day – Use them as a daily math journal prompt. Print out the recording sheet and project one of the problems on your white board or wall.  Students solve the problem and then glue it in their spiral or composition notebooks.
math problem solving activities notebook
  • Early Finisher Activities -No more wondering what to do next!Create an early finishers notebook where students can grab a task and a recording sheet. Place the cards in sheet protectors and make copies of the Early Finisher Activity Check-Off card for your kids to fill out BEFORE they pull a card out to work on. We want to make sure kids are not rushing through there first assignment before moving on to an early finisher activity.
math problem solving activities early finisher notebook

  • Weekly Math Challenges – Kids LOVE challenges! Give students copies of one of the problems for homework. Then give them a week to complete it. Since many of the questions have multiple solutions and students have to explain how they got their answers, you can have a rich whole group discussion at the end of the week (even with your kindergarten and 1st grade students).

Shop Recommended Resources

Kindergarten Problem Solving
Kinder Tasks
1st Grade Tasks
2nd Grad Problem Solving
2nd Grade Tasks
3rd Grade Tasks
4th Grade Tasks
5th Grade Problem Solving
5th Grade Tasks
problem-solving-activity
  • Formative Assessments – Give your students a problem to solve. Then use the Teacher Scoring Rubric to see how your kids are doing with each standard. Since they have to explain their thinking, this is a great way to catch any misconceptions and give feedback to individual students.
math problem solving activities rubric and task card

So this wraps up the top 5 ways that you can use problem solving tasks in your classroom.  Click your grade level below to get Solve and Explain problem solving tasks for your classroom.

Shop Recommended Resources

Kindergarten Problem Solving
Kinder Tasks
1st Grade Tasks
2nd Grad Problem Solving
2nd Grade Tasks
3rd Grade Tasks
4th Grade Tasks
5th Grade Problem Solving
5th Grade Tasks
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