Math word problems can be tricky. Several reasons may explain why kids seem to have no trouble solving math problems but struggle with word problems. The following is a brief explanation of how to solve math word problems:
- Reading problems: Despite having normal math skills, reading difficulties can make word problems difficult for children. For example, children who have trouble reading are more likely to have trouble solving word problems.
- If you have a hard time understanding math concepts: Kids can have difficulty picking up on clues in word problems even if they are very proficient readers. Clues are phrases that explain how kids need to solve problems, such as adding or subtracting. They then need to draw a number sentence based on these phrases, such as “two plus three equals five.”
- Problems controlling self-control and focusing: Others have problems controlling their behavior and rush through the problem. They may miss important parts or make simple calculation errors.
Aspects to consider
It is much easier to learn how to write numerical equations once English language learners are familiar with the key terminology used in mathematical word problems. Important words are just part of the process. There are some cautionary messages that students should keep in mind when understanding word problems and can also get algebra homework help. But, since problems are often set up differently, the meanings of words may differ. Example of a subtraction equation set up using “fewer than”.
Taking only keywords into consideration, “less than” is a signal that we should subtract 8 from Maria’s number of marbles. How many marbles does Paolo have?
Here’s how to solve math word problems fast and easily
The research has shown that if we ask students to base their understanding of problems only on knowing that some keywords signal particular operations, we can inadvertently distract them from understanding the problem itself. It is likely they will focus only on those words and whatever numbers are present in the problem, even if these are not needed to understand the answer. How to solve math word problems easily is more effective with this method than with any other This will prevent them from being proficient in math later in life, even when their English is proficient.
Despite the key words finding being with regular students, ELL students will face the same consequences if they depend on them. They won’t be able to solve the problem above. Teachers can use the suggested process of reading problems several times (at lower and upper grades) and explain what they mean to the students. Another helpful technique is to teach them to draw or model the problems before trying their hand at them. Suppose you state: “Here’s Maria’s 24.” Using 24 units, figures, shapes, etc. you can illustrate how Maria has fewer than Paolo does. Likewise, Paul has more than Maria. “Eight.” “What is Paolo’s total?” “I must have more than 24.” “So what is Paolo’s total?”
We want students to be able to see the meaning of the words, but also understand how they apply in the context of the entire problem. The difference is between knowing the meaning of “fewer than” and using it as a key.
The best strategies to help students
You can help your students build these skills by teaching them how to apply them in specific scenarios and helping them understand the context of a word problem. A process chart is a useful tool to guide students as they act on a new problem. It helps the students focus on how each stage of the process supports them as they attempt to solve the issue. Here is an example of how to solve math word problems:
- It helps students sort out the core information from the background noise if they read the problem twice, highlighting keywords and numbers as they read.
- Imagine a story or movie scene as a way to build a mental picture or diagram of the problem. Visualizing a story can be a powerful strategy for assisting students with creating a mental picture of a situation.
- Find out what the problem is about.
- Write an equation to represent the picture or a strategy to represent it. Estimate an answer, if you’re able to do that. Considering an estimate or approximate answer can help students decide if they’re on the right track.
- You should solve the problem and check the reasonableness of your answer. Reminding students that every problem cannot be solved correctly on the first try encourages them to accept mistakes and failures as part of the learning process.
Math word problems can be tricky. Despite having normal math skills, reading difficulties can make word problems difficult for children. The following is a brief explanation of how to solve math word problems. A process chart is a useful tool to guide students as they act on a new problem. It helps the students focus on how each stage of the process supports them as they attempt to solve the issue. Despite the key words finding being with regular students, ELL students will face the same consequences if they depend on them. We want students to be able to see the meaning of the words, but also understand how they apply in the context of the entire problem.