# Goal-Free Problems

As a teacher, you know that reasoning and problem solving are essential skills for your students to succeed in school and beyond. But how can you ensure that all your students have access to these skills, regardless of their background or ability level?

One way is to use goal-free problems. Goal-free problems are open-ended problems that allow students to explore and discover different solutions. They are also aligned with the national curriculum, so you can be sure that they are relevant to what your students are learning.

**In the sample materials below, click the slides rather than the arrows to see how to use this resource.**

**They promote deep learning.**Goal-free problems require students to think critically and creatively about the problem at hand. They also encourage students to collaborate with each other and share their ideas. This type of deep learning is essential for students to succeed in the 21st century.**They are accessible to all learners.**Goal-free problems can be adapted to meet the needs of all students, regardless of their ability level. For example, you can provide students with different amounts of scaffolding, or you can allow them to work in pairs or groups.**They are a highly effective teaching approach.**Goal-free problems have been shown to be a highly effective teaching approach for mastery learning. This means that all students can achieve mastery of the material, regardless of how long it takes them.

So, how can you use goal-free problems in your classroom?

Here are a few ideas:

**Start with a warm-up problem.**At the beginning of each lesson, present your students with a goal-free problem to get them thinking. This is a great way to introduce the new material or to review what was learned in the previous lesson.**Use goal-free problems as a main activity.**Goal-free problems can be used as the main activity in a lesson. This is a great way to get students engaged in the material and to promote deep learning.**Use goal-free problems for assessment.**Goal-free problems can be used to assess students' understanding of the material. This is a great way to see how well students are able to apply what they have learned.

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