Strategies To Solve Word Problems

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Most will feel that 500 is a simpler number than 567.

So, they just have to take away 67 from the minuend — 567 — and the subtrahend — 153 — before solving the equation.

Jo-Ellen Foody has been teaching for over 18 years and has taught grades K-3. Jo-Ellen is passionate about motivating students to reach beyond what they thought was possible.

Her Teachers Pay Teachers store is Love Believe Teach with Jo-Ellen Foody, and it focuses on the K-3 classroom.

Then watch your class celebrate their accomplishments. Here’s a Two-Step Word Problem FREEBIE to help get your students started on practicing and practicing. I have found that giving students one simple and straightforward strategy is the best way to go about helping these students. Be sure to make the strategy that you choose a good one!

I find that it’s most effective to start with one problem on a page and have students work their way up to three problems on a page. Here’s a word problem “attack” plan that I use with my 2nd graders: Yes, we’re teachers, and we’re supposed to teach, but sometimes kids just don’t connect to what we’re saying or how we’re explaining something.Let’s say students must find the sum of 393 and 89.They should quickly see that adding 7 onto 393 will equal 400 — an easier number to work with.That doesn’t make us bad teachers; consider it the mystery of the young mind.All you need to do is pair up students who are struggling with someone who is breezing through the problems. I’m Jo-Ellen from Love Believe Teach with Jo-Ellen Foody, and I’m delighted to be guest blogging for Rachel Lynette. I can start by telling you that I love teaching children how to solve word problems, but I won’t. Two-step word problems are even harder, and teaching how to solve them might be the most challenging skill you teach all year. Word problems are in every math program, in every grade, on every standardized math test, and they are an essential skill that students must master in order to survive in our world. So, here’s what I’ve found to be the most helpful and the least painful ways for students to become masters at solving tricky word problems. For some reason saying it out loud makes the whole process a little less scary. Students need whole class direct instruction, partner time, independent activities for practice, fun “get up and move” Scoot games, task card centers, and homework.The worst part about it is there is nothing you can do about it. Yes, you need to get the parents of your students involved with helping their children master these challenging problems. From my experience, and yes, I have over 18 years of it, students need lots and lots of practice to master word problems.Create or log into your teacher account on Prodigy — a free, adaptive math game that adjusts content to accommodate player trouble spots and learning speeds.Aligned to US and Canadian curricula, it’s loved by more than 500,000 teachers and 15 million students. Instead of relying on calculators, students learn strategies that can improve their concentration and estimation skills while building number sense.And, while there are educators who oppose math “tricks” for valid reasons, proponents point to benefits such as increased confidence to handle difficult problems.


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