Group problems are a good way to build up children's problem solving skills. Each problem has three or four clues, each of which gives some information about the problem. Children work in groups to find the answer. The approach promotes discussion and debate about ways of solving the problem, including decisions about the order of operations in a multi-step problem. Children have to ask themselves "Which is the information we need first?" Group problems can be extended by having one clue card which contains redundant information.
Children can be introduced to clue cards as part of the direct teaching, and can
then work in groups to solve problems in the main part of the lesson. Younger
children may need adult support to help with the reading, but mixed-ability
groups may help here.
The majority of the problems are aimed at younger pupils, but would easily adapt
to fit an older age-group. A blank grid has been included to enable you to write
your own problems.