1. Solving open-ended math problems
Solving open-ended math problems

Solving open-ended math problems

Some math problems often have more than one correct answer and more than one way to solve. See how you can shed some light on these types of problems — with this idea from FIRST® and Post-it® Brand.


  • SAMPLE LESSON: VISUALIZING RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN VARIABLES IN MATH PROBLEMS

    Sometimes it helps to visualize an open-ended math problem in order to solve it. This lesson shows how you can use Post-it® Grid Notes and Post-it® Flags to understand the relationship between two parts of a problem in order to reach an answer.

  • 1

    Draw the problem you’re trying to solve on a flat surface, or use Post-it® Super Sticky Dry Erase Surface. For this example, we are looking at the relationship between the circumferences and revolutions of a wheel and motor.

    Draw the problem you’re trying to solve on a flat surface, or use Post-it® Dry Erase Surface

  • 2

    Using Post-it® Grid Notes, grid out the circumference of the wheel and the circumference of the motor. Each space on the grid counts as one unit.

    Using Post-it® Grid Notes, grid out the circumference of the wheel and the circumference of the motor

  • 3

    Use Post-it® Flags to understand the revolutions and circumference relationship. Use one color for the motor and one color for the wheel.

    Use Post-it® Flags to understand the revolutions and circumference relationship

  • 4

    Now you should have a better understanding of the variables in this problem so that you can answer the question. Using the grid makes it easier to visualize the problem and reach a solution.

    Using the grid makes it easier to visualize the problem and reach a solution


  • First

    Founded in 1989, FIRST® is an international youth organization whose mission is to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. Through mentor-based programs, including innovative projects and robotics competitions, students from ages 6 to 18 learn science and technology concepts, build self-confidence and gain valuable employment and life skills. Learn more about FIRST® here.

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