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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.
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.
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.
After students are familiar with the process, I start to give different students different numbers, based on their level of mathematical thinking.
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.
Do you want a FREE sample of the resource that I use to teach Addition & Subtraction Word Problems by Problem Type?
Word problems are one of the first ways we see applied math, and also one of the most anxiety producing math challenges many grade school kids face.
This page has a great collection of word problems that provide a gentle introduction to word problems for all four basic math operations.
You'll find addition word problems, subtraction word problems, multiplication word problems and division word problems, all starting with simple easy-to-solve questions that build up to more complex skills necessary for many standardized tests.