The prompts are:

*1. Read the question. If you don't know a word, leave it out.*

2. W

*hat the question is asking you to do?*

3. H

*ow you are going to find the answer?*

4.

*Do it! Use your maths skills to solve the problem - "Talk aloud" as you do it, so that others can understand how you are thinking.*

5.

*Now, write down your answer to the question*.

So a student solving a problem follows a five step process:

1. Reading.

2. Comprehending.

3. Transformation. (selecting an appropriate strategy)

4. Process skills.

5. Encoding.

With a renewed focus on problem solving across our school and subsequent to a discussion at my last University intensive, I have experimented in using the prompts as a scaffold - that is a step by step process for students to follow when solving a problem. I printed each of the prompts onto a poster and have strongly encouraged (over and over!) students to make sure they consciously acknowledge each step - even when they think a problem, or part of a problem is easy.

Results have been fantastic! What I had long noticed was that students were fantastic at Newman's Stage 4 - the process - what they (and probably their teachers) regard as mathematics. So often I have seen a student give a great answer - to a different question! Newman making the other stages of the problem solving explicit has been a really effective solution to the difficulties that our school had identified in our students' problem solving skills - that often our students new the mathematics involved in a problem, but were getting tripped up by the literacy aspects of the problem.

My biggest buzz in the classroom at them moment is listening to students prompt each other - "

*what is this question asking us to do?*" "*how are you going to find the answer?*" and especially the smiles and sense of satisfaction at the encoding stage - "*the answer to this problem is...*."Newman's Prompts as a Scaffold from Jason Fisher on Vimeo.

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