## Solving Word Problems in Mathematics

Steps of solving a word problem.

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## How to Solve Word Problems

A proven step-by-step method for solving word problems is actually quite simple.

Let’s put these steps into practice. Consider the word problem below.

*this can be a key word for addition and multiplication

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## 5 Easy Steps to Solve Any Word Problem in Math

## How Do You Solve Word Problems in Math?

## How to Solve Word Problems Step by Step

Even the most unmotivated math student will learn how to solve word problems and not skip them!

## Tips, Tricks, and Teaching Strategies to Solving Word Problems in Math

4 steps in solving word problems in math:

Wonder how increasing their confidence will help keep them motivated in the classroom?

## Steps to Solving Word Problems in Mathematics

We are ready to SOLVE any word problem our students are going to encounter in math class.

Here are my 5 easy steps to SOLVE any word problem in math:

- S – State the objective
- O – Outline your plan
- L – Look for Key Details – Information
- V – Verify and Solve
- E – Explain and check your solution

If you’re interested, join today and all the details will be sent to you ASAP!

## Robin Cornecki

Latest posts by robin cornecki ( see all ).

- Here’s a Quick Way to Convert Percents to Fractions and Decimals. - July 21, 2022
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- How to Know How Many Questions are on the Praxis Core Math Test - February 24, 2022

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I also create engaging secondary math resources for grades 7-12!

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## How to Solve Word Problems in 3 Simple Steps

July 23, 2018 by Evan-Moor | 0 comments

## 3-Step System

1. Read: Read the problem and decide what the question is asking.

- Read the problem 2 times or more.
- Underline or circle key words, phrases, and numbers. Draw a line through irrelevant information.

- Draw a picture.
- Circle or underline key words. (Use highlighters or crayons to color-code key numbers and phrases.)
- Write out the question in your own words.

## Different Strategies to Solve Word Problems

1. Circle numbers in a story and underline key phrases.

2. Incorporate a key word list.

Addition In all Together Total Altogether Combine Sum Join

Subtraction Difference Fewer How many more How much more Left Remain Less

## How to solve a two-step word problem

1. Circle important information.

2. Distinguish the two parts of the problem.

3. Use the answer from the first-step solution to the whole problem.

Check out Daily Word Problems for consistent practice solving word problems.

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## 5 Easy Steps to Solving Word Problems

## Why Are Word Problems Difficult for Children?

Why can word problems be so confusing and scary? There are a few possible reasons.

- Word problems are often introduced to us at an age before our skills of abstract thinking are fully developed. However, a student’s imagination is a great asset to use in understanding word problems!
- Word problems are sometimes simply included as the “harder problems” at the end of homework assignments and the student is never really taught how to approach them.
- It is sometimes ignored that a student’s math and reading ability come into play when word problems are assigned. But if the second grade math student is still only reading on a first-grade level, he will have difficulty solving word problems even if he is otherwise good at math! It can thus be helpful to assess both a student’s math and reading ability to set him up for success. The tutoring service provided by masterygenius.com is a great option since both math and reading skills can be addressed.

## A quick tip before we get started…

So what are the five easy steps to solving word problems? Let’s take a look!

## Five Easy Steps to Solving Word Problems (WASSP)

- Write (or draw) what you know.
- Ask the question.
- Set up a math problem that could answer the question.
- Solve the math problem to get an answer.
- Put the answer in a sentence to see if the answer makes sense!

Let’s look at an example word problem to demonstrate these steps.

## 1. Write (or draw) what you know.

## 2. Ask the question.

The student could write, “How many cookies can each of Matt’s friends have?”

## 3. Set up a math problem that could answer the question.

- It can be a good idea to teach students “clue” words or phrases in problems which can identify what math operation may be needed. However, this should not be the student’s only skill for deciding what math operation to use, because these “clue” words can sometimes be confusing. For example, the phrases “how many in all” and “how many more” seem very similar to a student, but the first phrase indicates addition and the second phrase indicates subtraction!
- It is good for a student to also be able to reason what math operation is needed based on understanding the scenario itself (which is a better builder of true critical thinking skills). This is why the first two steps (write what you know and ask the question) are so important. The student that has a true understanding of the scenario will be better equipped to reason what math operation is needed.

Dividing 12 cookies among 3 friends means 12 is divided by 3.

## 4. Solve the problem.

12 cookies ÷ 3 friends = 4 cookies per friend

## 5. Put the answer in a sentence to see if the answer makes sense.

“Each of Matt’s friends can have four cookies.”

What if the student had decided this was a multiplication problem?

12 cookies × 3 friends = 36 cookies per friend

If the student then writes a sentence using the answer, he may realize the answer can’t be right.

“Each of Matt’s friends can have 36 cookies.”

## Practice the Five Easy Steps for Word-Problem Success!

Step 5 ( Put the answer in a sentence) can help the student decide whether the answer makes sense.

Now your student is ready for word-problem success!

## Writing & Grammar

## Strategies for Solving Word Problems

## It’s one thing to solve a math equation when all of the numbers are given to you but with word problems, when you start adding reading to the mix, that’s when it gets especially tricky.

## Here are the seven strategies I use to help students solve word problems.

1. read the entire word problem.

## 2. Think About the Word Problem

## Here are the questions:

A. what exactly is the question.

## B. What do I need in order to find the answer?

If you’d like to download this FREE Key Words handout, click here:

## C. What information do I already have?

This is where students will focus in on the numbers which will be used to solve the problem.

## 3. Write on the Word Problem

- Circle any numbers you’ll use.
- Lightly cross out any information you don’t need.
- Underline the phrase or sentence which tells exactly what you’ll need to find.

## 4. Draw a Simple Picture and Label It

## 5. Estimate the Answer Before Solving

## 6. Check Your Work When Done

## 7. Practice Word Problems Often

## If you’re looking for some word problem task cards, I have quite a few of them for 3rd – 5th graders.

CLICK HERE to take a look at 3rd grade:

CLICK HERE to take a look at 5th grade:

## Want to try a FREE set of math task cards to see what you think?

3rd Grade: Rounding Whole Numbers Task Cards

4th Grade: Convert Fractions and Decimals Task Cards

5th Grade: Read, Write, and Compare Decimals Task Cards

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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## Sciencing_Icons_Science SCIENCE

## 5 Steps to Word Problem Solving

## How to Learn Math Multiplication and Show Your Work

## Identify the Problem

## Gather Information

## Create an Equation

## Solve the Problem

## Verify the Answer

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## How to Solve Word Problems in Algebra

Last Updated: December 19, 2022 References

## Assessing the Problem

- For example, you might have the following problem: Jane went to a book shop and bought a book. While at the store Jane found a second interesting book and bought it for $80. The price of the second book was $10 less than three times the price of he first book. What was the price of the first book?
- In this problem, you are asked to find the price of the first book Jane purchased.

- Multiplication keywords include times, of, and f actor. [9] X Research source
- Division keywords include per, out of, and percent. [10] X Research source
- Addition keywords include some, more, and together. [11] X Research source
- Subtraction keywords include difference, fewer, and decreased. [12] X Research source

## Finding the Solution

## Completing a Sample Problem

## Expert Q&A

## Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

- Word problems can have more than one unknown and more the one variable. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 2 Not Helpful 1
- The number of variables is always equal to the number of unknowns. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
- While solving word problems you should always read every sentence carefully and try to extract all the numerical information. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0

## You Might Also Like

- ↑ Daron Cam. Academic Tutor. Expert Interview. 29 May 2020.
- ↑ http://www.purplemath.com/modules/translat.htm
- ↑ https://www.mathsisfun.com/algebra/word-questions-solving.html
- ↑ https://www.wtamu.edu/academic/anns/mps/math/mathlab/int_algebra/int_alg_tut8_probsol.htm
- ↑ http://www.virtualnerd.com/algebra-1/algebra-foundations/word-problem-equation-writing.php
- ↑ https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/praxis-math/praxis-math-lessons/praxis-math-algebra/a/gtp--praxis-math--article--algebraic-word-problems--lesson

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