I have struggled with word problems my entire life. The struggle began as an elementary school student, confused by all the words, numbers, and steps. The struggle continues as I try to help my students through the same difficulties that I once had.
- My students are often more focused on finding an answer, than understanding the problem.
- My students are great problem solvers, outside of math worksheets filled with word problems.
- My “redefined” word problems start with a situation and a question, as most word problems do. The catch is that these word problems are missing “numbers”. Students need to first read and understand the problem, to figure out what additional information is needed to solve it.
- Next, students need to make a plan to decide how this problem would be solved, if given the necessary information.
- Students then get to fill in that information themselves, writing a complete word problem. (This part is great for differentiation, as students will work with numbers that they are comfortable with).
- Finally, students solve the problem!!