Fun ways of teaching word problems? - ProTeacher Community


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Fun ways of teaching word problems?
Old 09-24-2008, 03:18 PM
 
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With my lower math class, I teach two math classes a day, they are struggling with word problems. They are having trouble figuring out whether to add or subtract. I did a lesson on Monday (BAD mistake to do this right after the weekend and first thing in the morning ) and the lesson did not go well. The students were getting frustrated and I was getting frustrated. We went over key words to look for. I have a poster in my room on this too. We underlined important information, etc. Is there anything FUN and/or ENGAGING that we can do? It just seems like a topic where there isn't a lot for you to do.

Note: I know a lot of teachers like to have students create their own word problems. I do not think we are at this point. We tried this and the ones they created were super easy. They just aren't at that level yet. I have two math groups, one is on grade level but high, the other group is on but rather low. The low group is what I am talking about.


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Bingo
Old 09-24-2008, 04:15 PM
 
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I took a workshop once where we played word problem bingo and have used it a few times with success.
Make a blank bingo worksheet (with as many squares as you have word problems.....may have to add some extra problems, but it depends on the class).
Give them the answers to the problems and let them write them in any square they choose.
Put each problem on an index card (# them so they know which they have done)and place them on a table, desk, etc. (Students can work in pairs.)
They choose a card, take it to their seat, solve, and cross off the answer to the problem.
They put they card back on the table and take another. Keep doing this until someone gets bingo.
Hope I've explained this well enough. The kids really seem to like it!
~M
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:47 PM
 
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I LIKE THAT! Thank you!

Any other ideas?
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Bingo
Old 09-25-2008, 05:55 PM
 
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That is awesome.....I am so going to use that!!! GREAT IDEA!!
Thanks,
Rachel
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Personalized Problems
Old 09-26-2008, 09:21 PM
 
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I write some of my own problems and put the students names in them. They love it! The problems are just as difficult and they are working just as hard, but because the problems are about them they are more motivated.

I did them for Back to School, school carnival, Halloween, Winter Holiday, Valentine's Day, Spring Break and end of school. I also did rain forest and ocean problems because they are units we do. I have them saved in our third grade shared folder. That way each teacher can go in a change the names to her new class list each year. I write the names in italicized letters so they are easy to find.

I'll bet students would like sports problems using their names too. Or maybe problems about World Records, but with their names inserted would be fun. i try to add some new ones each year.

Also have you used Greg Tang's math picture books in class? They show fun ways to think differently and solve problems.

Try using a miniature list of key words on each of their desks. You could laminate them so they last longer. Plus I also give them a small copy of our problem solving model for their desk.


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Gallery walk
Old 09-29-2008, 04:33 PM
 
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I just did a lesson today on multiple step word problems. I divided the kids into four groups. I then typed the problem on a piece of paper. Then I typed each of these questions on one piece of paper: What is the hidden question in this problem?, What do you need to find out?, Show how you solved this problem., and Write the answer in a complete sentence. I taped each of these papers together to form a long strip and put markers on the tables with them.

I then explained to the children that everyone was responsible to read every problem and check all of the work done before them. They should get me if they disagree with another group's work. Each group rotated four times and completed four different steps. I heard nothing but positive comments from the kids and I was so pleased, that I hung the problems up on the wall! I really like how it forced the kids to work together and really read each and every problem. It really emphasizes the problem solving process too!

I don't know where I got this idea. I think it was from another teacher who heard about it at a conference.
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:49 AM
 
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Those are some good ideas too! Thank you.
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