As a teacher, one of your main goals is to help your students improve their problem solving skills. Solving worded problems can be difficult for many students, but with the right techniques and strategies, they can be successful! In this blog post, we will discuss five of the best strategies that your students can use when solving worded problems. We will also provide some tips on how you can help them improve their problem solving skills. Let’s get started!
Do you remember feeling frustrated when trying to solve worded math problems when you were in school? It seemed like no matter how hard you tried, you just couldn’t get the right answer. This is the KUSAC problem solving technique can be a game changer for your classroom. Head to mathfullearners.com/KUSAC to download your FREE worksheets.
Before we dive into specific strategies, it is crutial that students read the problem carefully and identify the important information.
Many students rush through word problems without taking the time to read and understand them. As a result, they often miss important details that are necessary for solving the problem. Encourage your students to take their time when reading word problems. They should pay attention to key words and identify the information that is needed to solve the problem. The KUSAC acronym encourages students to underline and circle all the important information they need to know. Find out more in How to Solve Word Problems the easy way using the KUSAC strategy.
Draw a Picture or Diagram
Visual learners will benefit from drawing a picture or diagram of the problem. This will help them to see the relationships between the different elements in the problem and make it easier to solve. I love this strategy because it can be used with any age group. Anyone can draw a picture of what the question is asking!
Guess and Check
This problem solving strategy involves making an educated guess and then using the information in the problem to see if the guess is correct. If it’s not, they can try another guess. This strategy can be used with any type of problem, but it’s especially one that contains larger numbers than the student is used to dealing with.
Identify a Pattern
Many word problems can be solved by finding and using a pattern. This strategy is often used with problems that involve sequences or lists of items. For example, if a student is asked to find the 10th item in a sequence, they can look for a pattern in the first 9 items to help them find the 10th.
Solve an Easier Problem
I am all about making life easier for teachers and students. So why not look for an easier problem to solve. This strategy is often used with word problems that involve multiple steps. Solve a simpler problem that only involves one or two steps and then use that information to help solve the original problem. Or use small numbers then use your knowledge of place value to apply it to the original question.
This is a great strategy for students who are struggling to see the solution. It can be helpful to work backwards from the answer to the problem. This will help them to see what steps they need to take to get to the answer. Especially if students have already solved the problem, this will help them check their answer by working backwards. Knowledge of inverse operations (link to fact family blopost) is the key here.
The full set of these posters are available on TpT – display them in your classroom and they will be one of the most used posters on your walls!
Find out more information about using Problem Solving Strategies here.
Don’t forget to download your free KUSAC worksheets by visiting mathfullearners.com/KUSAC.
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