Thirteen students are still struggling with basic math facts and 3 have trouble reading the word problems at all. Issue #2: Flexible Thinking Many kids are taught to solve word problems methodically, with a prescriptive step-by-step plan using key words that don’t always work.Plans are great, but not when students use them as a crutch rather than a tool.For example, comparison subtraction problems are very challenging for some students.
Scaffolding word problems will grow confidence and improve problem solving skills by gradually increasing the level difficulty as the child is ready.
This is especially effective when you are trying to teach students different structures of word problems to go with a certain operation.
Today’s standardized tests and real-world applications require creative thinking and flexibility with strategies.
Issue #3: Differentiation Teachers want students to excel quickly and often push too fast, too soon.
Grow flexible thinkers and build confidence by teaching a routine.
A problem solving routine simply encourages students to slow down and think before and after solving.
" Create a table, list, graph or chart that outlines the information you know, and leave blanks for any information you don't yet know.
Each word problem may require a different format, but a visual representation of the necessary information makes it easier to work with.
Start by using problems that have similar stories and numbers, but different problem structures.
Encourage conversation, use visual representations, and have students explain the difference in structure and operation.