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 Post subject: Word Problems
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:03 pm
Posts: 1413
Any tips about how to approach these? DS seems to panic when he sees these and leaves several out. I've tried going through them with him slowly, reading the question out etc. and he then often 'gets' it. But rarely on his own. :?

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 Post subject: Re: Word Problems
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:30 pm
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I have had similar struggles on wordy type maths questions. I have asked my child to write in summarised form all the information given in the question and the last line is what the question is asking for. Then I ask my child to judge what topic the question is related to? Is it perimeter, circumference, area, etc...I also reduce my input and give the odd hint to help, this is a sliding scale versus increasing confidence.


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 Post subject: Re: Word Problems
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:00 pm 
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Have you seen the Schofield and Sims maths books? Each page of questions are divided into three sections.

1) Numerical maths problems eg. 4+6 = 10

2) Straight forward word maths problems eg. If Jonathen has 4 oranges and Edward has 6 oranges, how many do they have altogether?

3) More complicated questions eg. Gary had 3 apples, Jason has 7 apples . If there were 20 apples to start off with, how many did Robbie have?

(All above examples made up)


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 Post subject: Re: Word Problems
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:08 pm 
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It's the S&S book 3 he's on. He doesn't have too many problems with the first two sections, maybe 1-4 wrong, across the two sections, but then leaves about 11 out of 20 (on a good day!) out of section 3.

I've tried your approach sbarnes, but I'm not sure I know when to stop giving hints/ hold back, so I'm either completely holding his hand doing it, or saying he should completely do it on his own. :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: Word Problems
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
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IS it a time issue? ie. He doesn't feel he has time to read and work out the questions, so those he doesn't 'get' straight away, he leaves out.

Alternatively, have you analysed the questions he gets correct or wrong? Does he always complete certain types, and not others?

IS it worth getting him to do fewer questions, not all 10 in the final section? Perhaps do 5 for a couple of weeks, then 7, then 10 etc. Just a thought.


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 Post subject: Re: Word Problems
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
RUCSAC

Read question

Underline important bits

Calculation (what operation do you need? )

Solve problem

Answer the question (units)

Check (does it make sense?)



One of the most difficult things is working out exactly what you need to do, add, subtract etc.

Sorting word problems according to whether they are addition, subtraction, multiplication, division or a combination is quite a good exercise. Don't solve them at this stage , just talk about what you need to do.


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 Post subject: Re: Word Problems
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:41 pm 
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Yes - maybe one day you could get him to talk through how he would solve a small number of them, and then the next day actually solve them.

Or is it just because section C is the last thing he gets to? If you start with an easy Section C (say at the beginning of the book) do you have the same issues?


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 Post subject: Re: Word Problems
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:03 pm
Posts: 1413
Hello,

At school, when he does mental maths, I think he panics at being timed, panics at all the words and, consequently, doesn't do very well. His teacher drew my attention to it, saying he knew he could do the maths, but clearly needed a hand with the technique. That is why I bought the Schofield and Sims. At home, I don't time, but can see his panic. I think part of it is that he is unfamiliar with the layout of some questions; he panics if it's a time question (eg how much distance covered if Fred walks 6km per hour and he walks from 8.30 am til 11 am); or if it is a fraction question, he also gets anxious.

I think getting him to do fewer word problems, maybe even 1 a day, might be a good start, so he's not overwhelmed with 12 questions he thinks he won't be able to do. And perhaps I should break it down even further and give him a calculation, eg 7x10 - 13 and get him to do it; and then give that calculation to him in word problem form and, if he has problems, show him that he was actually able to do it in its 'bare' form.

The RUCSAC thing is a very good idea.

Just seen your message, Mystery: I think your first suggestion is a good one. We are only on paper 3, so still at the beginning of the book. So far, we've done the first 2 sections on one day and the third section on a different day, mainly because I thought he'd take longer doing them and I wanted to give him plenty of time. I think it's just because they are 'heavily worded' and the first 2 sections are much more obvious calculations with fewer words.

Thanks everyone. I hate seeing DS feel so uncomfortable with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Word Problems
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:25 pm
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Last one I'm preparing for 11+ is my DD after 3 DS's who have gained places at gs's.

Anyways, have started on the S&S books last week. She's in yr 3 but thought start a little early, better than leaving it last minute.

Like the above posts have mentioned, my DD is also finding some of the problem solving questions tricky. I find I have to break down the question & this way she understands it. I know that lots of practice is the key to grasping problem solving as similar questions will come up again & again. So even though the child will not understand it early on, I believe with time, a helping hand & patience will help them grasp problem solving, word problems.


Last edited by zeinab on Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Word Problems
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:20 pm
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Location: Warwickshire
We did loads where I didn't even ask ds to work out the answer - just to tell me what the sum would need to be. Perhaps changing the focus of the task from coming up with an answer, to coming up with a method would help?


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