"Everyone’s Got (Word) Problems"
Word problems are a great opportunity to bring math and literacy skills together in a format that is concrete and fun. This lesson asks students to use the math skills they are learning and applying them by creating word problems for their peers to solve.
—Select one more more math operations to use in a word problem;
—Produce multi-step word problems that their classmates can solve;
—Solve word problems created by their classmates.
This lesson is appropriate for Upper Elementary, Middle School & High School
Solve multistep word problems posed with whole numbers and having whole-number answers using the four operations, including problems in which remainders must be interpreted. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.
Use multiplication and division within 100 to solve word problems in situations involving equal groups, arrays, and measurement quantities, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.
—Flocabulary Math videos
—Exercise sheet from video page
1 class period
1. Watch a math video relevant to what you’re teaching. This lesson is most easily used within the Operations strand (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) but could also work for Geometry (finding the circumference of circle, the volume of a sphere), Statistics (Mean/median/mode), and other areas of math.
2. After the video, have students answer the Challenge Questions and complete any associated printable exercises.
3. Create a sample word problem that utilizes the type of math operation you’re focusing on. Walk through the problem with the class, pointing out the importance of reading it carefully (and aloud if helpful), understanding what you’re solving for, and underlining the most relevant information to help guide the problem solving process.
4. Break students up into pairs and explain that they are going to create word problems for each other to solve. Tell them that they can be as silly or creative as they want them to be, but lay down any parameters you feel are necessary (how long they have to be, how many steps they have to include, minimum/maximum value of numbers used).
5. Students should be given a certain amount of time to complete their problem (and have the answer themselves) and then they can swap with their partner.
-Students can work together to create a third word problem and then pairs can swap as well.
-Optional: Give the students the answer to the problem and they then have to create the word problem that will lead there.
-Optional: Students can create whole stories/narratives that have a word problem at the center. They can write these with a younger audience in mind and then share them with the younger classes at school.
-"I used to think ______ and now I think ______"
-"One thing I learned is ________________ and one question I still have is _________"