How to create a Situation – Problem.

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This activity indicates a reference age and specific situation. Your job is to take the procedure as an example and adapt it to the target you work with and the discipline you teach.


Class 2 primary school. Column subtractions


Pupils have acquired the ability to perform column additions even with the use of carry-over. (C, D, U) 


Tell the class you’re about to give them a mission to accomplish. They will first have to solve an enigma individually and then as a group. 


How to guide the activity:

  1. Give to solve 3 subtractions in column without change. Ask for a collective answer on what the result was. I’m sure someone will be able to solve it and share it with the class. 
  2. Now deliver the mission. Assign a subtraction that involves the exchange rate without explaining it
  3. Give two minutes to try individually. Then give another 2 minutes to confront classmates (leave free choice whether to do it and with whom to do it). 
  4. Ask who has the solution to present. Choose a child who can explain what reasoning he or she made to solve the puzzle and ask his classmates if they agree
  5. Explain the class the right procedure of doing it.


In this way we induce the child to want to find the solution, to feel like a hero, to help solve a problem, to be part of a group mission. Their attention and openness to learning will inevitably be much more than while explaining how they perform with the blackboard.