Solving an advanced math problem independently requires the coordination of a number of complex skills.
The student must have the capacity to reliably implement the specific steps of a particular problem-solving process, or cognitive strategy.
Mathematical problem solving related to counting and daily transactions of commerce has been present from the earliest days of human experience.
Geometry was also widely used in land measurement .
First, the student is taught a 7-step process for attacking a math word problem (cognitive strategy).
Second, the instructor trains the student to use a three-part self-coaching routine for each of the seven problem-solving steps (metacognitive strategy). I will reread the problem if I don’t understand it.” Ask: “Now that I have read the problem, do I fully understand it” Check: “I understand the problem and will move forward.”Say: “I will highlight key words and phrases that relate to the problem question.” “I will restate the problem in my own words.” Ask: “Did I highlight the most important words or phrases in the problem” Check: “I found the key words or phrases that will help to solve the problem.”Say: “I will compute the answer to the problem.” Ask: “Does my answer sound right” “Is my answer close to my estimate” Check: “I carried out all of the operations in the correct order to solve this problem.”Students will benefit from close teacher support when learning to combine the 7-step cognitive strategy to attack math word problems with the iterative 3-step metacognitive Say-Ask-Check sequence.Mathematical problem solving is a process that involves a set of factors and tasks to achieve a defined goal.It depends on many skills and factors which therefore makes it challenging both to learn and to teach.Mathematics educators have accepted the idea that that the development of problem solving ability deserves special attention [2 ] and that one of the most important components in any mathematics curriculum or program is genuine mathematical problem solving .If well facilitated, mathematical problem solving may help students Most of the mathematics textbooks suggest few types of problems as examples with detailed solutions and then suggest similar problems as exercises.If the instructors understanding of the process is limited, difficulties in teaching mathematical problem solving, will arise.Hence the great need to understand these factors and skills if we want to help our students acquire this important process.Mathematics is now used to quantify numerically and spatially natural as well as man-made situations.It is used to solve problems and with the advent of the computer technology, it has helped in making social, economical and technological advances that few decades ago would have been unthinkable.Learning mathematical facts and contents is important but is not enough.Students should learn how to use these facts to develop their thinking skills and solve problems.