Hey, do your kids groan when they see word problems? Do they fake it and just guess their way through? Do they just give up?
Imagine if they did them anyway, and did them correctly!
Last night I was helping my grandson with his algebra I homework. I must say I love his teacher. He always assigns the end of the section problems. You know, the word problems with parts a, b, c , and even d! The amazing part is, my grandson doesn’t balk too much because I’ve shown him a few strategies that make word problems less daunting!
Here’s the laundry list that always works for me:
Now here are two big ongoing follow up steps to teaching students to use these strategies:
Make sure they are USING the strategies!!!!
For example, let’s say they come to you for help with, “I don’t get this…..” Your immediate response is, “How many times did you read it?” If they pass that question with flying colors, “What is the problem about?” The idea is you just guide them through the steps and make it obvious to them that this is what you are doing!
Secondly, make sure YOU are USING the strategies!!!!
Practice what you preach. Model, Model, Model!
Teaching kids to overcome their fear of word problems is key to empowering them mathematically. Just think how building their math confidence builds their overall confidence. Don’t you just love that you get to teach math and impact so many young people in this way? Kinda gives you goosies, huh?