# Math Word Problem Solving Strategies

Anyone who has taught maths for any length of time will know how difficult it can be to teach pupils to solve maths problems out of context. There are a number of strategies that can be used to solve maths problems, as follows: Creating a diagram can help mathematicians to picture the problem and find the solution.

When this happens the students will be able to make the problem more simple by dividing it into smaller and easiest steps, such as rewording the problem using smaller numbers.

These strategies are really useful in helping to solve maths problems.

It is usually a good idea to ensure students already have a strategy or two in place to complete the math operations involved in a particular question.

For example, students may need a way to figure out what 7 × 8 is or have previously memorized the answer before you give them a word problem that involves finding the answer to 7 × 8.

Making a list is a strategy that will help students sort out the information that has been given in the problem.

Once the students can see all of the possibilities for the solution, they can then attempt to solve the problem more easily.This strategy requires students to use the information they have been given in the question to eliminate possible solutions to finally discover the correct solution.When students use this strategy they look for a pattern from the information that has been given.Students just need to work out what the events were that occurred previously.Sometimes the problem is too difficult to solve in one step.Then watch your class celebrate their accomplishments. Here’s a Two-Step Word Problem FREEBIE to help get your students started on practicing and practicing. I have found that giving students one simple and straightforward strategy is the best way to go about helping these students. Be sure to make the strategy that you choose a good one!I find that it’s most effective to start with one problem on a page and have students work their way up to three problems on a page. Here’s a word problem “attack” plan that I use with my 2nd graders: Yes, we’re teachers, and we’re supposed to teach, but sometimes kids just don’t connect to what we’re saying or how we’re explaining something.However, in the same ways that we teach strategies for other areas of maths, we can also teach strategies to solve maths problems. The first and most important step is to read the problem carefully to understand what you're asked to find out and what information you have been given. They can then work out the solution from the diagram that has been drawn.When solving maths problems, students should be encouraged to follow a general problem solving procedure. Underlining the important information is also useful so you have all the important numbers/facts to hand. The guess and check strategy can be helpful for many types of problems.Teach, reteach, and then after a little more time has passed, reteach it again. You might not believe me, but to children they actually look at it as a challenge. Here’s how I do it: First, I pass out practice sheet #1 with either one or two problems on it.Sometimes children need time to absorb all the different tricks you’ve taught. I give students time to finish, and as soon as they are finished, they get it checked.