*Our students need even more practice with those types of problems because the relationship of the numbers is more abstract.*I’m going to leave that for another blog post, though.The examples above are mainly for join and separate problems.

At some point, we do create a list of words, but not a keyword list.

We create a list of actions or verbs and determine whether those actions are joining or separating something. Here are a few ideas: Join: put, got, picked up, bought, made Separate: ate, lost, put down, dropped, used in the problem and the result of the problem. These are all words we use when solving problems and we learn the structure of a word problem through the vocabulary and relationship of the numbers.

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.

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.

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.

Do you want a FREE sample of the resource that I use to teach Addition & Subtraction Word Problems by Problem Type?

In Teaching Through Problem-solving (TTP), students learn new mathematics by solving problems.

## Comments Math Problem Solving Lesson Plans

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