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Saturday, February 15, 2020

7 Tips for Math Problem Solving

Do your students need help problem solving?

Do you want to give your students additional support to solve math word problems?

Solving math word problems is a skill that needs to be practiced. Let's review tips to help your students overcome obstacles in order to solve the problems.

Tips for Math Problem Solving

The following tips for math problem solving are suggestions for aiding your students in answering grade level problems. Try one or all of these tips in your classroom. Watch your students grow into problem solvers and tackle any word problem.

1. Practice. 

It's as simple as that. For bell work or class word every day solve at least one word problem together as a class. Model for the students. Show them how to think through solving the problem. It's important to model this skill again and again. Students do not always have this skill. It needs to be practiced daily.

2. Vocabulary. 

Do you have a weekly or monthly math word list? This is one of the best vocabulary strategies to implement now. Start today and have your students try four new math terms this week with the vocabulary cards. Have them write the words in a journal or notebook. This is a great deposit of learning. Your students will talk, write and understand more math concepts when they are practicing vocabulary!

3. Review Errors. 

Teaching students to review their answers is important. Many students need to practice this self reflection. After students have answered a word problem review it with them. Model the questions they should be asking themselves. Tell students to ask,
  • "Do my answers look right?" 
  • "Does my answer make sense?" 
  • "Did I answer the math question correctly?" 

4. Master Key Concepts. 

Do your students know the math concepts to solve a word problem independently? Teaching the concepts before the word problems are given is important. What keywords to look for, what operations to use, and the order of the numbers is imperative.

5. Understand. 

Reading a word problem is difficult for students. Do your students understand the basics? Here is a list to review with students.
  • How to read a word problem.  
  • What is the word problem asking you to answer.
  • What operation(s) to use.   

6. Use Strategies. 

There are several problem solving math strategies that work. Pick one to start with. Teach your students what the strategy is and how to properly use it.

7. Applications to Real World

Make the word problems applicable to the students. Change the names to be students' names in your classroom. Make the problems about your students' everyday lives. Do they go to a favorite fast food restaurant or store. Use the names that they are familiar with and students will enjoy learning math when it applies more to their life.

Try one of these strategies today! Download the math vocabulary guide and help your students learn new math terms now.

Free Math Vocabulary Cards

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