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Below are five math problem-solving strategies to use when teaching word problems using any resource. It also keeps students from solving the problem before we talk about the relationship of the numbers.When I teach word problems, I give students problems with blank spaces and no numbers. We identify whether something is being added to or taken from something else. We identify what we have to solve and set up the equation with blank spaces and a square for the unknown number ___ ___ = unknown Do you want a free sample of the word problems I use in my classroom? Only after we have discussed the problem do I give students numbers. At the beginning of the year, we all do the same numbers, so that I can make sure students understand the process.
The beauty of the blank spaces is that I can put any numbers I want into the problem, to practice the strategies we have been working on in class.
At some point, we do create a list of words, but not a keyword list.
Different number sets will lend themselves to different strategies and different models.
Use number sets that students have already practiced computationally.
It just doesn’t work consistently across all problems.
It’s a shortcut that leads to breakdowns in mathematical thinking.Students should be solidly using one model before transitioning to another.They may even use two at the same time while they work out the similarities between the models.I talk more in depth about why it doesn’t work in The Problem with Using Keywords to Solve Word Problems.You can read more about the Addition & Subtraction Word Problems Resource that I use in my classroom in this blog post. Removing the distraction of the numbers helps students focus on the situation of the problem and understand the action or relationship of the numbers.They could underline the question and they could find the numbers.Most of the time, my students just added the two numbers together without making sense of the problem. I am a big proponent of NOT teaching keyword lists.Once kids have the tools, they need to be able to apply those tools to a variety of problems and come up with effective solutions.Through Math Game Time’s free problem solving videos, children learn how to solve word problems and apply their math skills to other scenarios.Section three includes extended explorations that offer in-depth, real-life contexts as the basis for the problem.My students had been struggling with how to solve addition and subtraction word problems for what seemed like forever.