The need for a better math education is clear. With the ever-increasing advancement in technology and the tighter integration of the global economy, relevant social and business problems are more complex. Industries which require technology and science-based solutions are becoming the engine fueling countries’ growth. Math offers a rigorous and systematic process to improve problem-solving skills, which are useful not only for the highly complex but also for many daily life decisions.
With the digital revolution in place, we are not experiencing a lack of information, but quite the opposite. With a simple click, parents have access to a variety of free resources, including teaching aids, instructional videos, learning software, and tutoring services. Large book publishers continuously push new books and supporting materials, along with training programs and standardized testing aids. In academia, researchers spend a considerable amount of time searching for better approaches to teaching math. In spite of an abundance of teaching and learning resources, success is still minimal.
In 2001, I started working on a set of tools to improve math education. Building on the knowledge from my classes and through trial and error with my two daughters, who at that time were in elementary school, I developed a system that I know call Problem Solving Maps (PSM).
PSM makes thinking visible by depicting three fundamental thinking processes--inductive thinking, deductive thinking, and analysis--which are relevant skills needed to solve math problems. The generic structure of PSM ensures that they can be used to learn math across multiple topics and grade levels.
Whether you are homeschooling, or a parent trying to help your children, the methodology covered in this course will dramatically improve your ability to help struggling math students.
You will learn how to break down math problems into manageable parts and use the right tool so your children can develop the self-confidence and the problem-solving skills to tackle math problem systematically. I know it is possible because I did it.
One thing is clear. The jobs of the future will require specialized knowledge in mathematics, computing, and engineering.
Are your children going to be ready?
Problem Solving Maps (PSM) have many advantages
Read about successful users!
Karyna won a Teaching Excellence Award for best improvement based on the results of her senior high school class on the PRUEBA ENLACE, an annual standardized test. Karyna credits her success to using the Problem Solving Maps methodology in the classroom!
Karyna Lopez, Ikalo School in Leon, Mexico
"Problem Solving Maps have made complex ratio word problems accessible for all students. The difficult ratio word problems used to be something that only my strongest math students could handle, but with the Problem Solving Maps all kids can work their way through the problems."
- Jennifer Gronski, 6th Grade teacher
"The Problem Solving Maps are helping our students make concrete their thinking about abstract concepts. This process also allows teachers to clearly see where students are struggling so they can address these concerns easily and directly."
Vikki Wandmacher, Principal
White Pine Middle School, Michigan USA
I attribute much of the success of my Math students to the use of the Problem Solving Maps (PSM). One particular group that has maintained an “A” average in Math are my 7th grade students. My 7th graders started attending my center in the 6th grade and during that time, I introduced them to the PSM. This mathematical tool helped my students understand different concepts in Math, which are crucial to their success not only in school, but in preparation for the Math portion of the ACT and SAT Test as well.
I have also had much success using PSM on my developmental students at a local community college. I used PSM to teach my students, among other things, how to understand positive and negative integers. A great majority of them maintained a “B” or better in the class throughout the semester, which is a great accomplishment for those students that struggled with Math prior to taking that class.
Felesia Harrel, owner of College Bound Academic Learning Center in Saginaw, Michigan, offers all subject tutoring with main focus in Math and ACT and SAT Prep
We have observed that with Problem Solving Maps (PSM) students get a deeper and quicker understanding of math concepts for topics which are usually challenging. Even more important, students are not only mastering academic concepts, but they are also acquiring skills that can be used to make critical and logical decisions in life. PSM methods are without a doubt a cutting edge process to teach quantitative and logical reasoning skills.
Maciej Winiarek, Thinking Zone Middle School in Gdansk, Poland
"Just wanted to share with you how much my students are benefiting from using your thinking routines. My students are the ones with cognitive impairments, and we are using them for fractions. We've used the Examples-Conclusion Graph 4 times so far with outstanding results. Today, when I handed them out at the beginning of the lesson, one of my students exclaimed, "I LOVE these!! We should use them every day!" When I asked what it was that he liked so much, he said that it helps him understand things. Another student said that she likes them because she likes being asked to write what she thinks first, and that it helps her. All of the students agreed with both statements.
Thanks for taking the time to teach us such a useful tool."
Kimberly A. Buscarino
Carrollton High School
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR ALL KIDS TO BE PROFICIENT IN MATH?
"[Math] builds skills that allow people to do things they might otherwise not have been able to do or experience. If I learn mathematics and I become a better thinker, I develop perseverance, because I know what it's like to wrestle with a hard problem, and I develop hopefulness that I will actually solve these problems. And some people experience a kind of transcendent wonder that they're seeing something true about the universe. That's a source of joy and flourishing."
Francis Su, former President of the Mathematical Association of America
Dr. Sirias has a Master’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering and a Ph.D. in Business Administration. He is also a certified Critical Chain Project Manager and a certified TOCICO thinking process implementer. Dr Sirias created the Problem Solving Maps methodology to teach mathematics which is currently being used in several countries to improve student's performance.
What do you get in this course?
Oliver Mariano presented his PSM research at the 2016 Special International Conference in Mathematics Education.
From his abstract:
"At the end of the seven-week experimentation, the study found out that the students who were exposed to the use of Problem Solving Maps embedded in a Cooperative Classroom Environment had better achievement and attitude towards Mathematics compared to those who were taught using the Traditional Method. Moreover, the Problem Solving Maps reflected improved thinking skills (i.e. inductive, deductive, and analyzing skills) among students."
Gerwayne Palomar's research presentation "The effects of Problem Solving Maps in learning grade 8 mathematics" won third place at the 2017 NOSTE International Conference. Gerwayne found a significant difference when using PSM vs. traditional approaches to teach mathematics.