Math PK-2

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Math PK-2 > Strategies > Collaborative Problem Solving

Collaborative Problem Solving


Collaborative problem solving occurs when learners solve problems in a group which exposes them to new strategies and opportunities to communicate their mathematical thinking. This sharing helps students reflect on their problem solving approaches and expands their Mathematical Flexibility.

Apply It to Your Learning Environment

  • Asking open-ended questions about how learners used strategies to solve problems supports their mathematical thinking and strengthens their Language Skills by having them explain their reasoning.
  • Educators can assign challenging problems for learners to work on independently then in small groups. Giving them the opportunity to tackle the problems individually first supports varying Speeds of Processing.
  • As learners work with others, they can explore the same problem with different strategies, developing their Operations, Estimation, and Place Value skills, and learn which strategies work best for them.
  • Utilize breakout rooms and the chat feature for small, online groups.
  • Provide visuals to support oral instructions during synchronous online learning.
  • Provide instructions in different formats and languages for learners.
  • Provide pictures or visual representations of the steps particularly for English Language Learners.

Watch how this kindergarten teacher facilitates collaborative problem solving with a small group of students. By asking questions that stimulate strategy use, she supports their mathematical thinking and strengthens their Language Skills by having them explain their reasoning.

Apply It to Product Development

  • Products can support collaborative problem solving by allowing learners to display and share their thinking with their peers, even at a distance.
  • Include features that let learners copy or combine pieces of their individual work to create a shared answer that best represents their discussion and reasoning.
  • The facilitation of these discussions on such a platform can support increased Attention and the development of Social Awareness & Relationship Skills.

Factors Supported by this Strategy

About this Strategy Content

The research review for this strategy was conducted by the LVP team. Application, examples, and resources were sourced with support from our Practitioner Advisory Board.