Common Sense Review
Updated June 2014

NRICH: Lower Primary - Be a Mathematician

Novel activities encourage problem solving and critical thinking
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This module is part of the Website NRICH.
Common Sense Rating 4
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  • Problems are organized by critical-thinking categories rather than specific math skills.
  • Kids are challenged to solve problems using multiple approaches to arrive at multiple possible solutions.
  • This example problem challenges kids to discover patterns among numbers.
  • Kids must use logic to solve some problems.
  • Teacher support includes suggestions for classroom use.
Mieke VanderBorght
Common Sense Reviewer
Common Sense Rating 4
How Can Teachers Use It?

Rather than having elementary-aged kids focus on specific math skills (addition, geometry, and so on), these problems are organized by critical-thinking and problem-solving themes, such as working systematically, saying what you see, and practice makes perfect. Kids are encouraged to solve a problem and then convince someone else that their solution is correct. Some problems work better as group projects, others as individual exploration, but kids can always describe their approach and share the solutions with their peers. It may take time to look through all the suggestions and teacher-support material, but it's worth it: take full advantage of it all! Navigation can be tricky; be sure to browse through the problems and then present them to kids offline. If kids want to use the online interactive features themselves, give them specific instructions and guidance. Teachers could easily link the tasks in these problems to other subjects, such as the scientific process, writing (kids describe the problem-solving process), and more.

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