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Some word problems can and should be done in students' heads. However, in order for them to fully understand what they are doing, and why, these are the steps to take for full math problem solving comprehension.

1.  Student should read the problem at least twice for full comprehension.

2.  Student should highlight or underline the important information.

3.  Ask student, "What is being asked of you? What do you want to know?" (That is the question at the end of the word problem)

4.  Ask student, "What operation needs to be performed? Look for key words." (sum, difference, total, etc...)

5.  Ask student, "What steps do you need to take in order to solve the problem? List them."

6.  Ask student to solve the problem.

At the end of each chapter, students are expected to write an "Exemplar". An "Exemplar" is written steps taken to explain how a story problem is solved.

    1.          I read the problem.  

2.          I know that…(list important information) 

3.          I want to find out…(what question are you trying to answer?) 

4.          The strategy I used was… (List your strategies- tally marks, draw a picture, add, subtract, multiply, divide.)  

5.          I used this strategy because… (explain why you used certain steps.)

6.          My final answer is…(show your number models and final answer.) 

7.        It makes sense because…(explain how you checked your answer.)


For more information on exemplars, click HERE.



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