### Understanding the Problem: Overview

This seems so obvious that it is often not even mentioned, yet students are often stymied in their efforts to solve problems simply because they don’t understand it fully, or even in part. Polya taught teachers to ask students questions such as:

- Do you understand all the words used in stating the problem?
- What are you asked to find or show?
- Can you restate the problem in your own words?
- Can you think of a picture or diagram that might help you understand the problem?
- Is there enough information to enable you to find a solution?
- What is known or unknown?

Be sure to consider the terminology and notation used in the problem. If time allows it, write down a problem similar to the one you are working. Sometimes it's good to interpret things in a different context.

This seems so obvious that it is often not even mentioned, yet students are often stymied in their efforts to solve problems simply because they don’t understand it fully, or even in part. Polya taught teachers to ask students questions such as:

- Do you understand all the words used in stating the problem?
- What are you asked to find or show?
- Can you restate the problem in your own words?
- Can you think of a picture or diagram that might help you understand the problem?
- Is there enough information to enable you to find a solution?
- What is known or unknown?

Be sure to consider the terminology and notation used in the problem. If time allows it, write down a problem similar to the one you are working. Sometimes it's good to interpret things in a different context.

Retrieved from learnlogic.net

Retrieved from learnlogic.net