Middle School Problem Solving Prepares Students for Real Life Decision Making

Allison Robinson and

Problem Solving is a quarter course taught by Miss Eck for both 7th and 8th graders. Although the class has the same outputs, what students learn in 7th grade Problem Solving is different from what they learn in 8th grade.

Problem solving helps students work on strategies that can be used outside of a math classroom. “For example, diagrams can be used in a wide variety of jobs involving architecture, engineering, or marketing,” Miss Eck said.

“Eliminating possibilities is a great life skill that can be applied to any kind of decision making and finding patterns can help students learn to make predictions or be prepared for what’s to come,” Miss Eck said.

7th grade problem solving is about exploring word problems and applying problem solving strategies that help make those word problems less scary. “I challenge my students to think abstractly and creatively to work through different problems or puzzles,” Miss Eck said.

How can students apply this to their everyday activities? “We tackle the art of bowling while learning how to keep score,” Miss Eck said.

8th grade Problem Solving is all about focusing on how to be responsible with money management. Students gain an understanding of unit prices and use them to maintain a budget. The class also learns about graph theory and how students can apply this to our lives

What real world experience do students gain? “One example is with tax and tip when we go out to lunch (or this year, order breakfast as takeout),” Miss Eck said.