The Problem Solving and Communication Activity Series Make a Mathematical Model

Make a Mathematical Model

Organizing quantities and relationships into a mathematical model (equation, table, algorithm, etc.) is one of the most powerful, and most challenging, problem-solving tools.

We support students to build on their skills and noticers (Understand the Problem) and organizers (Guess and Check, Make a Table) to list the quantities and relationships they see in the problem, and then support them to either "build up" several relationships or "break down" a big-picture sense of the problem to develop a mathematical model.

Activities to Learn this Strategy

Facilitation Questions

  • What are the quantities in this problem?
  • How can you write the relationships between them?
  • Could you build those relationships into a model?
  • Can you think of the big picture and break it down into a complete model?

Recommended Library Problems

The Strategy Examples documents linked from these problems contain examples of what students could do with the activities. You need a Class Membership or higher to access Library problems.

Primary

Clowning Around
The Eagle and the Bear

Math Fundamentals

Toys to Go
Four Dates
Pauline the Plumber
Missing Pages

Pre-Algebra

Lincoln's Top Hat
Waste Not, Want Not
Cara's Cookies
Val's Value

Algebra

A Phone-y Deal?
The ABCs of Exponents
What Time Is It?
What's the Point?

Geometry

The Coordinated Quadrilateral
A Circle Inscribed in an Isosceles Triangle
Dendrochronology
Seeing Stars

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