Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Math Word Problem Strategies

Helping a student be prepared to solve a math word problem is an area that a lot of teachers worry about while they teach. Solving a word problem requires the coordination of a number of math skills. The student needs to be able to analyze the problem, choose the correct strategy to implement, and follow through with the correct procedure. I would like to share some tips that teachers can teach students for solving word problems.

  1. Read the problem: The student will read the problem and reread it if they don't understand the problem.
  2. Paraphrase the problem: They can highlight the key words/phrases.
  3. Draw the problem: The student will create a drawing of the problem or use a graphic organizer.
  4. Create a plan to solve the problem. The student will make a plan outlining the steps to solving the problem.
  5. Predict: the student will use estimation to predict the answer.
  6. Compute the answer: The student will compute the answer to the problem. They then check the answer against their estimate of the answer for comparison.
  7. Check the answer: The student checks the steps of the answer. They check to see that they went through the steps in the plan were followed and that the operations were done in the correct orders.
Hopefully this framework will help the student go through a word problem with success!

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