Math Word Problem Solving Strategies

Making a list is a strategy that will help students sort out the information that has been given in the problem.

Once the students can see all of the possibilities for the solution, they can then attempt to solve the problem more easily.

Teach, reteach, and then after a little more time has passed, reteach it again. You might not believe me, but to children they actually look at it as a challenge. Here’s how I do it: First, I pass out practice sheet #1 with either one or two problems on it.

Sometimes children need time to absorb all the different tricks you’ve taught. I give students time to finish, and as soon as they are finished, they get it checked.

When this happens the students will be able to make the problem more simple by dividing it into smaller and easiest steps, such as rewording the problem using smaller numbers.

These strategies are really useful in helping to solve maths problems.

You can easily keep track of how many problems the class solved correctly in the set time frame.

When students use this strategy they look for a pattern from the information that has been given.Anyone who has taught maths for any length of time will know how difficult it can be to teach pupils to solve maths problems out of context. There are a number of strategies that can be used to solve maths problems, as follows: Creating a diagram can help mathematicians to picture the problem and find the solution.Present pupils with a familiar setting or a sum that they've tackled before then they're usually fine, but turn it into an unfamiliar problem then it's a different matter. To create a diagram, the problem must be read carefully and the information that has been given to them in the question drawn into the diagram.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.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.So after your first introduction lesson, wait a little bit and reteach it with a short mini-lesson to refresh their minds. If they get them all correct, I give them page #2 immediately.Then I repeat the process again and again until I feel them get tired. 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.

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