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It's about meaningful acquisition of strategies generally speaking. Consider subtraction of digits with regrouping. If students can make sense out of a problem and proceed with logical steps to solve some problem, open ended or not, it gives them a sense of ownership. Open-ended problems help students develop critical thinking and I found that it's more effective when students work in teams. It's about the process to learn that helps in having students examine some method that could be more efficient.
Exactly what Mr. Villanueva wrote! Very well said. It helps students to know that there is more than one way to solve a problem, and discovering those different strategies on their own or working with groups is very effective and meaningful.
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