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 Post subject: Maths Word ProblemsPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 11:25 am

Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2021 11:18 pm
Posts: 4
Hi All

My daughter is good with maths concepts, but fumbles when attacking word problems. The problem as I understand, is in interpreting the word problem into a maths concept.
Any suggestions to improve this? Is it by making her do more and more word problems?

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 Post subject: Re: Maths Word ProblemsPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 12:02 pm

Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2020 2:15 pm
Posts: 63
Location: Trafford
ram0204 wrote:
Hi All

My daughter is good with maths concepts, but fumbles when attacking word problems. The problem as I understand, is in interpreting the word problem into a maths concept.
Any suggestions to improve this? Is it by making her do more and more word problems?

We're doing more of them

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 Post subject: Re: Maths Word ProblemsPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 12:08 pm

Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:04 am
Posts: 212
We also had this issue. We found asking her to do 'real world' maths helped, which was just more practise to help her see the maths operations and data that we use every day. Recipe weights, times, speeds, distances, prices etc. We got her to draw diagrams etc for some of the questions to help her visualise the problem, because she's quite a visual learner.

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 Post subject: Re: Maths Word ProblemsPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 1:13 pm

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:32 pm
Posts: 7698
Location: East Kent
Try talking through the problem together and looking to see which bits are important information and which aren’t.
Eg 2 blue cars..is it important that they were blue? Does it matter if they were cars or vans?

Use a highlighter on the important info.

Knowing times tables and number facts well is an advantage in word problems e.g. related sets like 27, 3, 9 often jump out and give you some idea of what is needed and relevant.

Diagrams are also very useful. I know that in the test there won’t be time to do this but it is very useful when learning.

Practise lots of them, make up some of your own and get her to make them up too.

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 Post subject: Re: Maths Word ProblemsPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 2:19 pm

Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 3:09 pm
Posts: 1209
Location: Solihull, West Midlands
It can be worth trying an activity such as for each of the main operators (+, -, x, / (can't do the proper divide sign) trying to think of as many words as possible that might mean you need that operator

such as + can be

add, plus, sum, total, together, makes etc

and thinking of sillier and sillier word problems that could be generated from a simple piece of arithmetic

Certainly translating words into maths (and back again) is often a tricky and underrated skill, and those who are "fluent in maths" often don't realise that they've slid between lots of different equivalent word versions which the children are struggling to keep track of.

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 Post subject: Re: Maths Word ProblemsPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 3:46 pm

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:32 pm
Posts: 7698
Location: East Kent
I used to do a sorting activity. 4 large +, - , X and / (divide) and a series of cards with wuestions. Started off with alternate words eg plus, add, sum of etc and discussed which operation was relevant.
We then progressed to simple word problem “Jane has 26 marble and gives 1/2 to her sister”

You can then increase the complexity of the problems. Lots of maths language involved and it really makes the child think about the problem- there may be more than one way to solve it, are addition and multiplication the same etc?

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 Post subject: Re: Maths Word ProblemsPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2021 4:37 pm

Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2021 11:18 pm
Posts: 4
Thanks everyone.

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