Math Word Problem Solving Strategies

Once the pattern has been identified, the students can predict what will happen next and then continue the pattern to find the correct solution.

Working backwards is an excellent strategy to use when the final outcome of the problem has already been given.

You can easily keep track of how many problems the class solved correctly in the set time frame.

If you repeat this game multiple times, you should see their total number getting higher and higher as their skills increase.

Another way to practice is to make it a game to see how many problems the class can correctly solve in x number of minutes.

Math Word Problem Solving Strategies

Start by saying, “We are going to practice as many problems as we can in five minutes. ” Your class will think they are playing a game, not practicing challenging word problems.

I’m Jo-Ellen from Love Believe Teach with Jo-Ellen Foody, and I’m delighted to be guest blogging for Rachel Lynette. I can start by telling you that I love teaching children how to solve word problems, but I won’t. Two-step word problems are even harder, and teaching how to solve them might be the most challenging skill you teach all year. Word problems are in every math program, in every grade, on every standardized math test, and they are an essential skill that students must master in order to survive in our world. So, here’s what I’ve found to be the most helpful and the least painful ways for students to become masters at solving tricky word problems. For some reason saying it out loud makes the whole process a little less scary. Students need whole class direct instruction, partner time, independent activities for practice, fun “get up and move” Scoot games, task card centers, and homework.

The worst part about it is there is nothing you can do about it. Yes, you need to get the parents of your students involved with helping their children master these challenging problems. From my experience, and yes, I have over 18 years of it, students need lots and lots of practice to master word problems.

I have used them with the classes that I've worked with in KS2 to great effect.

Giving children the experience of using these maths problem solving strategies will provide themv with a really useful toolkit for their maths arsenal as well as making them more confident when presented with a maths problem.


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