You’ve tried every strategy. But your students still struggle with word problems. You need a systematic, structured approach that helps all students access and understand word problems.

Is reading comprehension holding your students back in math?

Learn about structures of equality
  • haven't yet mastered the English language (ESL, MLL)
  • have special education needs
  • struggle with reading

You have students who:

  • can't read them
  • don't know what the problem is asking 
  • don't know which operation to use
  • are easily frustrated

When it comes to story problems, they:

Does this sound familiar?


I’ve been where you are. You pour your heart into teaching, but word problems continue to be a stumbling block for your students. The strategies you’ve tried are either too complicated or limited to specific problem types. You’re tired of seeing your students struggle. I was too. 

I knew if I could figure out a structure that would help them make sense of what problems were asking, they could be successful. I believe every kid deserves to be given the tools they need to succeed. That’s why I developed Structures of Equality.

Read more about my journey

Hi, I'm Julie


  • Set up a diagram that matches the problem’s context
  • Make sense of what the problem is asking
  • Visualize story problems
  • Make inferences
  • Persevere 

Logical structures students can use independently

You've tried strategies for solving story problems like keywords and step-by-step methods, only to find that your students are confused and don't know what to do when it's time to work on their own.

“Math becomes an understandable process, rather than memorization and misunderstanding of isolated algorithms."

- Cissy Mckissick, WCPSS SPED Teacher

"For years, I saw the lack of understanding about the relationships between numbers in a given problem blocking their growth. Structures of Equality prevents this – students must actually see the relationship between the numbers and represent it in consistent, taught, visual structures. From there, the logic of how to solve the problem often becomes apparent. Students are excited to understand why the calculation makes sense and enjoy telling the reasoning behind their solution.”

3 simple structures that work for any problem type

It’s confusing when your students have too many options to choose from. Or only 1 strategy that they overgeneralize. You need simplicity. 

Structures of Equality is a reading comprehension tool to enhance students’ understanding of number stories. They equip your students with the confidence and critical thinking skills to successfully and independently solve problems.

Repeated Equal Groups

Parts Equal Total


Example: There are 4 bags with 2 oranges in each bag. How many oranges are there in all?

Example: Ms Felder has 8 balloons. Three are red. The rest are yellow. How many balloons are yellow?

Example: There are 5 blue cars and 3 white cars in the parking lot. How many more blue cars are there than white cars in the parking lot?

Explore pd opportunities

Proven Results

And at the end of the year?

A case study on a 5th grade classroom with 28 students

Let's set the stage. At the beginning of the year:

  • Only 8 students were expected to pass the EOG (End of Grade) test*
  • 14 students had less than a 50% chance of passing
  • Teacher provided consistent and explicit instruction in SoE
  • 7 students had SoE instruction in previous grades

  • 27 students passed the EOG
  • 21 passed with a 4 or higher
  • 27 students exceeded expected growth
  • Of the 7 who had previous SoE instruction, 5 scored a 5. All passed.

*Based on EVAAS data. EVAAS is a software system that uses historical data to predict expected growth and proficiency scores.

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