Math 3-6

Worked Examples


Analyzing and discussing solved problems helps students develop a deeper understanding of abstract mathematical processes. Worked problems reduce the cognitive load for students, as they do not have to solve the problems themselves but can instead focus their Attention on understanding and comparing different solution methods. Interleaving practice problems with worked examples can push students to monitor their thinking when solving problems, building Metacognition.

Use It in the Classroom

  • Teachers can have small groups examine teacher- or peer-created worked examples, supporting Operations fluency and Mathematical Flexibility as students compare and contrast different approaches and solutions. When teachers have students explain the problem to themselves and look at the efficiency of different approaches, students learn to intentionally use more efficient strategies. Looking at incomplete or even incorrect problems can also encourage students to think even more critically.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Videos are an excellent way to provide worked examples for students to study, such as this example on doing Operations with fractions. Products can easily integrate such videos into their instructional roadmap, supporting students' deeper conceptual development.

  • Developers can provide both banks of solved problems and tools for creating and sharing incomplete or solved problems. Edtech products can also provide audio recording features so students can record their thinking about a problem and share it with the author of the problem or their teacher.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy