# In math, word problems can be fun

One of the biggest obstacles your child has to overcome in school is the terrible problem that is a math problem. During my many years of private instruction, the only complaint I have heard too many times is the inability to conquer the word problem. However, verbal problems can be successfully addressed. This article describes how.

Word problems are more difficult than “normal” math problems because the solution requires first determining what to do and then how to do it. So a word problem, unlike solving an equation like x + 3 = 4, and then asking for the value of x, requires one to determine which equations can be drawn from the words, and then how to solve those equations specific.

Another difficulty lies in the inability of a student to read at the level necessary for the words that make up the problem to make sense. Poor readers will generally solve

**redactiesommen groep 6**. That is why I teach students critical reading skills, among which are techniques such as “early reading” and other active reading skills. Such methods not only provide students with a tremendous boost in their math skills, but intersect with other disciplines that require reading, such as social studies and English.To better understand these strategies, we will look at a specific verbal problem at the pre-algebra / algebra level and then see how to implement these techniques. The problem we will discuss is on the subject of systems of equations in algebra.

Example word problem: five hockey sticks and three hockey pucks cost $ 23. Five hockey sticks and one hockey puck cost $ 20. How much do two pucks cost?

Word problem strategies:

Step One: This is the stage where we just read the problem to get an “idea” of what’s going on inside. During this stage, we are not trying to solve the real problem, but simply have a general idea of what the problem is facing.

Second pass: this is the stage in which we re-read the problem, paying special attention to the situation in question, what the problem is facing, who are the main players, etc. During this stage, we begin to reflect on some problem-solving strategies and begin to plan our attack.

Step Three: This is the brainstorming stage. At this point, we clearly determine what the nature of the problem is, what we know and what we are asked to do. This is when we start to convert words to numbers and equations and quantify everything within the problem.

Step Four: This is the stage where we begin to solve the problem using the information we gathered in the third step. At this stage, we also double-check our brainstorming phase to make sure we take the right approach.

Fifth step: this is the final stage in which we check the consistency of the solution obtained in the fourth step.

Let’s go through these stages with the problem in question. During the first pass, we read the problem and see that it has something to do with hockey sticks and hockey pucks and the price of two pucks. Note that a curved ball has been thrown at us here asking us to indicate the price of two discs, not one. Keep this in mind for the end of the problem.