Tina Cardone, author of “Nix the Tricks,” a guide to avoiding non-conceptually developmental short-cuts, suggests having students think about the words of the problem as a whole and focus on what is happening in the problem in context. Students can accomplish this by visualizing the situation and creating a mental picture of the actions that are taking place. Once they understand the actions, students can then connect them to symbols.
After students have had experience with a variety of problem situations, some patterns will begin to emerge as students begin to recognize recurring themes, such as joining, part-part-whole, separating, comparing, equal groups, sharing, and measuring-- the operation situations.
Click here or on the image above to grab a free copy of my “Analyze Word Problems with Operation Situations” chart.
Want to know more?
Head on over to The Routty Math Teacher website to read more about the dangers of keywords, the power of the operation situations, and strategies for how to help students visualize a word problem. Find it here!