Strategies For Solving Word Problems

Strategies For Solving Word Problems-1
Start your instruction with specific models and then allow students to choose one to use. Be purposeful in the numbers that you choose for your word problems.Different number sets will lend themselves to different strategies and different models.

Start your instruction with specific models and then allow students to choose one to use. Be purposeful in the numbers that you choose for your word problems.Different number sets will lend themselves to different strategies and different models.

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My students had been struggling with how to solve addition and subtraction word problems for what seemed like forever.

They could underline the question and they could find the numbers.

If you’re working on addition without regrouping, use those number sets.

The more connections you can make between the computation and the problem-solving the better.

In fact, using the same vocabulary across problem types helps students see the relationship of the numbers at a deeper level. Students are not solving a word problem to find “the answer”. My students can still explain, after instruction, that they A couple years ago, I came across this article about the need to help students develop adequate models to understand the relationship of the numbers within the problem. I needed to make a distinction between the students use to understand the relationship of the numbers in the problem and the strategies to solve the computation in the problem.

Although the answer helps me, the teacher, understand whether or not the student understood the relationship of the numbers, I want students to be able to explain their process and understand the depth of word problems. Those two things work in tandem but are very different.The most important thing about models is to move away from them. You spend so long teaching students how to use models and then you don’t want them to use a model.Well, actually, you want students to move toward efficiency.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.It just doesn’t work consistently across all problems.You’ll see how I sometimes gave students copies of the model that they could glue into their notebook and sometimes students drew their own model.They need to be responsible for choosing what works best for them. Teach the strategies first through the use of math fact practice, before applying it to word problems so that students understand the strategies and can quickly choose one to use. Once students have some fluency in a few strategies, have them choose strategies that work for different problems.I also change numbers throughout the year, from one-digit to two-digit numbers.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.They may even use two at the same time while they work out the similarities between the models.Students should also be able to create their own models.

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