Date of Award

8-1-2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

Abstract

The main focus of this research was to design and implement a strategy that students could use to help them in problem-solving multistep problems that are the main focus of state assessments. Related literature focused on four major steps that should be used when problem-solving. These four steps are closely aligned with Polyas' problem-solving process. My goal in this research was to show that students are struggling with using problem-solving techniques to solve multi-step mathematical problems. Students struggle with reading comprehension and common mathematic vocabulary. Students can solve basic computational math problems, but when embedded within a word problem, this becomes rather cumbersome. I first made a pre-test that had three previous state exam questions. Then, to aid students in this process, my fellow colleagues and I devised a graphic organizer that was based off of Polyas' problem-solving process. We called this organizer QNPS. This graphic organizer was to help students organize their thought process into four major steps. Throughout the first semester I gave students opportunity to try this process. Students were then given a test/survey similar to the pre-test. The last measurement piece would be the seventh grade state exam. Through this research process I learned that if students are to be successful on these state exams then we need to teach more than just content. We need to model how the content can be embedded into real-life application questions.

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