Word problems are usually one of the most difficult tasks for students. They are interdisciplinary problems that require good reading skills, solid math identification skills, and organization skills. Students first need to identify what is being asked of them before they can begin to even understand where to begin. Many students approach math by memorizing math facts. Those children have a tough time identifying math concepts or specifically phrases. It is always important for students to look for the phrases that indicate what operation or concept that needs to be used to solve this problem. Students that have a short attention span or difficulty paying attention to detail usually struggle here. It is very helpful to breakdown the individual questions.
Even though you will find a wide variety of problem types, the same basic strategy to solving these problems applies and works well. The first step is to read the problem at least twice and on the second pass, underline any words that may indicate a math operation. Words such as: gain, decrease, total, raised are the types of words that we are looking for. The words almost always are verbs within the sentences that they are located. The next step is to write a math expression or equation to model what is set forth in the sentence. Make sure to use different symbols to model each variable and check that it matches the sentence. The last step is to either solve the equation or input the values indicated in the sentence into your equation. You will find just about every type of problem and situation you could dream up on the worksheets that you will find as you scroll down. We have word problems ranging from the very simple task of operations to advance math based problem types.