# Enhancing Mathematical Problem-Solving Skills: Implementing RULER Tasks

As a Mathematics department, we are dedicated to equipping our students with the essential problem-solving and reasoning skills necessary for success in Mathematics, both in their academic journey and beyond. In line with the requirements of GCSE examinations and the broader objectives of fostering critical thinking, we have implemented several strategies aimed at nurturing these vital skills in our Key Stage 3 (KS3) and Key Stage 4 (KS4) students.

When students reach Year 11 and sit their GCSE examinations, they are expected to not only demonstrate proficiency in mathematical facts, concepts and techniques but also to apply their knowledge to solve both familiar and unfamiliar problems across a range of contexts. To ensure our students are well-prepared for this challenge, we have integrated problem-solving and reasoning tasks into every unit of work throughout the curriculum.

One of the approaches we are actively embedding is the use of ‘RULER’ tasks. RULER is an acronym that stands for Read, Underline, Layout, Evaluate and Review. These tasks are specifically designed to guide students through a systematic process of problem-solving, encouraging them to approach mathematical problems in a structured and methodical manner.

Each week, all students are engaged in a RULER task focusing on ‘Money Problems’. We have chosen this particular area of mathematics as it not only reinforces essential mathematical skills but also provides practical relevance to real-life situations. Through these tasks, students are challenged to apply their mathematical knowledge and reasoning abilities to solve problems related to budgeting, financial planning, and everyday transactions.

Here is an example of a RULER task:

Underline: Identify key information and underline relevant details

Layout: Organise the information and plan your approach.

Evaluate: Apply mathematical concepts and reasoning to solve the problem.

Review: Double-check your calculations and assess whether your solution is logical and practical. Reflect on the problem-solving process and identify any areas for improvement.

By engaging in RULER tasks, our students not only enhance their mathematical problem-solving skills but also develop valuable habits of mind, such as perseverance, attention to detail, and critical thinking. These skills are not only essential for academic success but also for navigating the complexities of the world beyond the classroom.

We are confident that by fostering a culture of mathematical curiosity and resilience, our students will be well-equipped to tackle the challenges they encounter in their academic studies and future endeavours.

Mrs Bennett
Mathematics Department

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