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1. UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM: Do I really understand what is given and what is asked of me?
- Am I reading the problem carefully?
- What is the question? What is the unknown?
- Is this a problem to “find” … or to “prove”?
- What are the known data?
- What is the condition? Is it sufficient to determine the unknown? Insufficient, redundant, contradictory? Are there separate parts of the condition?
- What is relevant information? What should be discarded?
- Can I use a mental schema or draw a figure with suitable notation – marking the knowns and the unknown?
2. MAKE A PLAN: How do I best make a plan for the solution?
- What is the connection between the unknown and the known data?
- Have I ever seen this problem as a worked example before? A similar problem?
- Have I ever myself solved a problem like this ? A similar one?
- Do I recall the solution approaches?
- If not – is there a problem related to this one that I have seen solved before and whose solution approach I can recall and use?
- Do I need to restate the problem by introducing some added element?
- What solving strategies do I have? What should I try? Do I recall the steps?
3. CARRY OUT THE PLAN: How do I best carry out the plan and solve the problem?
- Am I using the problem-solving strategy that will answer the question?
- Have I applied the skills I have learned through daily practice?
- Do I show all my work so I can check it later?
- Have I checked each step of my work to avoid being careless?
- Can I see clearly that each step is correct? Can I convince myself or prove that each step is correct?
4. LOOK BACK: How do I best look back on my work?
- Do I examine my solution to see that it answers the question?
- Is my answer reasonable?
- Can I check the result?
- Can I see the solution approach for connecting the unknown to the given data at a glance?
- Can I use a mental model or a diagram to help recall this solution approach and solve similar problems in the future?
- How will I recognizhe similar problem statements and recall a solution approach?