# What Are Open Minded Problem Solvers

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While taking a class as a college student, I did not think that this was a necessary skill for students to learn. It was not until I took a class that was called Integrated Mathematics. I know that many people think problem solving and mathematics go hand in hand. However, what I discovered in this class was by given children a goal and the tools needed to get the goal/answer you were building on problem solving skills that they will rely on for the rest of their lives. In my Integrated Math class we were taught, by the instructor, the same way we should run a classroom. The lesson that stood out the most to me was a basic addition problem. We were given an equation and told to solve the problem any other way then using the standard algorithm because students are not taught the standard algorithm until they master the understanding of addition. The class came up with five or six different ways to solve the same problem. This caused our class to think “outside the box”. Children in class would be asked to follow that same steps, and according to our instructor many of the techniques we came up with children also did. By teaching problem-solving skills, children are more adapt and willing to try something new or think about a new way to look at something. I know in my adult life I have problem solved many different problems and had to come from many different angles to get there like solving a math problem. Overall through the education in school, students can learn to find their voice, know they have a support system, and learn to problem solve, all of with will prepare them for