Ways To Solve Word Problems

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The inability to correctly interpret and understand wording greatly impacts their math reasoning skills and often leads them to making the wrong calculations and arriving incorrect conclusions.

Remembering and manipulating information and details in their working memory is another challenge some LD students face as they try to see the whole picture.

The school year is off to a roaring start, and this is the year that I figure out how to teach problem solving strategies (and continue making students show their problem solving strategies). Why I like it: It gives students a very specific “what to do.” Why I don’t like it: With all of the annotating of the problem, I’m not sure that students are actually reading the problem. Why I like it: Students are forced to think about what type of problem it is (factoring, division, etc) and then come up with a plan to solve it using a strategy sentence. Check stands for understand, plan, solve, and check.

Problem solving strategies are pivotal to word problems. None of the steps emphasize reading the problem but maybe that is a given. This is a great strategy to teach when you are tackling various types of problems. Why I like it: I love that there is a check step in this strategy.

If it does not appear logical, review the steps you took to find the answer and look for calculation or set-up errors.

Recalculate the numbers or make other changes until you get an answer that makes sense.

It provides just enough direction to guide them through the reasoning process without overwhelming them.

SQRQCQ is also a mnemonic that is easy for students to remember and which they can fall back on when completing homework or taking tests.

Why I don’t like it: It can be a little vague and doesn’t give concrete “what to dos.” Checking that students completed the “understand” step can be hard to see. It doesn’t have a name yet, or an acronym, (so can it even be considered a strategy…?

) but I will have the steps on an anchor chart in my room. I have rolled this out to students, and it went decently.


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