Math Problem Solving Strategies (Primary) - Lesson Plan & Templates

April 30, 2014 Margo Ensz

This lesson plan is part of our partnership with two super creative educators from The Curriculum Corner, bringing you free Common Core aligned lesson ideas, teacher resources, and templates you can easily print with your VariQuest Perfecta 2400 or VariQuest Poster Maker - just be sure you have the latest VariQuest Software v4.0

Lesson: Introduction to Problem Solving Strategies (Two-Day Lesson) 

Level: Primary

Objectives & CCSS Alignment: Students will increase independence in using various strategies to solve different types of word problems.

*Note: CCSS has problem solving strategies spread throughout the domains for math.  This lesson focuses on giving them a review of each of the various strategies.  It is suggested that teachers follow up this review with a more in-depth lesson in each of the strategies as they fit naturally into the curriculum or as there is student need. 

Materials & Visuals: 

  • Anchor Chart – Problem Solving Strategies

  • My Math Notes for Problem Solving

Click on each image to download the PDF and print to a poster using your VariQuest Software v4.0

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  • Think through a sample problem for each of the strategies listed on the anchor chart.  These will be shown to the students as examples.

  • Prepare “Problem Solving” anchor chart for mini-lesson.

  • Copy the “My Math Notes for Problem Solving” page for each child in the classroom.  You may choose to three-hole-punch this page for use in a Math Notes binder/folder to be kept by students and referred to throughout the year. 


  • Ask students what a “strategy” is.  Accept several answers and then lead the class to the conclusion that a strategy is a plan to reach a goal.  In math a strategy would be a plan to reach a final answer.

  • Display the anchor chart titled “Problem Solving Strategies” for the students.  Tell them that these are some ways that they can use to solve all kinds of different math problems.

  • Pass out “My Math Notes for Problem Solving” to each student and explain that this page is a place for them to write down some notes that will help them to remember what each strategy is and how to use it.  They will keep this in their math binder/folder and can pull it out as a reminder when needed.

*Note: The boxes of this resource have been left blank so that the teacher can decide the level of support needed to fill it out.  Students may need to draw or write exactly what the teacher shares for each strategy or they may be allowed to draw or write whatever they feel will help them to remember the strategy.

  • Briefly explain a few of the eight strategies and guide students as to how you would like for them to take their notes (copying the teacher notes or creating their own depending on grade or skill level).  Introduce however many strategies that time allows for in this first lesson, and then complete the note-taking for the final strategies the following day.

  • Have students place their Math Notes into an organized binder or folder that will be kept and used throughout the year.

Did you like this lesson? Leave a comment and let us know what topics you would like us to cover in future posts and we will work on delivering free resources to help you prepare for your lessons!

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