Fostering Problem Solving in Mathemathics with Critical Thinking

Problem solving is at the core of learning mathematics. How can critical thinking help students become more confident problem solvers? What intellectual tools support students’ thinking about mathematical problems? In this session, participants investigate specific ways the TC2 approach can help students become more powerful problem solvers.

NOTE: This session is most effective for participants who have had a basic introduction to the TC2 model of critical thinking.

Audience: Primary and Junior


  • Recommended reading, links, key slides (pdf)
  • The Critical Thinking Consortium (TC2) : Check out the mathematics tools in the Tools for
  • Thought collection (Visualizing a math problem; Analyzing and Checking a Math Problem; Writing
  • Reflectively in Math and Science; etc.) Suitable for Grade 4 and up.
  • MathGAINS (EduGains website)
  • Marian Small:  Website (Go to “Past Presentations” for examples of open questions at different grade levels)
  • Dan Meyers: BlogTED talk Dan is a high school math teacher who helps his students find intriguing mathematics in real world situations (often with the help of video clips).
    Avery’s blog:  This math teacher has great ideas for engaging students in mathematics. His post on “mathematical habits of mind” (some of which seem more like thinking strategies) is especially relevant for developing self–‐regulated, critically thoughtful math learners.