Help students reveal the math behind the words
“I don’t get what I’m supposed to do!” This is a common refrain from students when asked to solve word problems.
Solving problems is about more than computation. Students must understand the mathematics of a situation to know what computation will lead to an appropriate solution. Many students often pluck numbers from the problem and plug them into an equation using the first operation they can think of (or the last one they practiced). Students also tend to choose an operation by solely relying on key words that they believe will help them arrive at an answer, without careful consideration of what the problem is actually asking of them.
Mathematize It! Going Beyond Key Words to Make Sense of Word Problems, Grades 6–8 shares a reasoning approach that helps students dig into the problem to uncover the underlying mathematics, deeply consider the problem’s context, and employ strong operation sense to solve it. Through the process of mathematizing, the authors provide an explanation of a consistent method—and specific instructional strategies—to take the initial focus off specific numbers and computations and put it on the actions and relationships expressed in the problem.
Sure to enhance teachers’ own operation sense, this user-friendly resource for Grades 6–8:
· Offers a systematic mathematizing process for students to use when solving word problems
· Gives practice opportunities and dozens of problems to leverage in the classroom
· Provides specific examples of questions and explorations for multiplication and division, fractions and decimals, as well as operations with rational numbers
· Demonstrates the use of visual representations to model problems with dozens of short videos
· Includes end-of-chapter activities and reflection questions
How can you help your students understand what is happening mathematically when solving word problems? Mathematize it!