Solution Strategies and a Sample Problem
You can use this assessment test for math to track your students' progress over time as they develop their mathematical thinking skills. Here is a sample Joining problem:
Sara has 2 markers. Her mother gives her 6 more. How many markers does Sara have now?
Children's solution strategies evolve over time. At the most basic level, children use physical objects (like counters or their fingers) to directly model the action described in the problem. For Joining problems, this strategy would include joining all of the parts in the problem to discover the total number. Using the sample problem above, the student might put 2 markers in one pile, 6 markers in a different pile, and then count all of the markers to find the answer.
Over time, their solution strategies become more abstract and efficient. As a child's mathematical understanding progresses, the direct modeling is replaced by Counting Strategies. This will include counting on from the first number (2...3,4,5,6,7,8) and later, counting on from the larger number (6...7,8) - which is typically more efficient.
At the final stage of understanding, students will use known number facts to solve a problem. (6+2=8)