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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.
The examples above are mainly for join and separate problems.
It’s no wonder our students have so much difficulty with compare problems since we don’t teach them to the same degree as join and separate problems.
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.
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.
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.
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.