strategies to improve word problems

There are a variety of approaches to help students who struggle with word problems in math. In August 2023, we explored some of the common strategies along with their advantages and pitfalls. Despite all the options, teachers continue to search for ways to help students comprehend what is happening in story problems. This is not […]

November 1, 2023

Strategies to improve word problem understanding 

Last week, you saw an example of how keywords can cause confusion when students are given a problem with a comparison situation. Today, you’ll see two word problem strategies side by side: CUBES and Structures of Equality (SoE). Look for 3 key things while you work your way through the strategies: First, let’s take a […]

October 25, 2023

Comparison word problems can be tricky. But they don’t have to be.

We’ve explored Parts Equal Total (PET), Repeated Equal Groups (REG), and how they sometimes overlap in my recent blog posts. This week, you’ll learn about the third and final Structure of Equality, Compare. With these 3 reading comprehension tools, your students will be ready to solve any elementary word problem type within the Common Core […]

October 18, 2023

Avoid keyword confusion with math story problems

“Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them” is the first of the 8 Standards for Mathematical Practice. Comprehension of word problems is also one of the most baffling tasks for teachers and students. A Quick Refresher In the last couple weeks, we explored two structures: Parts Equal Total and Repeated Equal Groups. Parts […]

October 12, 2023

Make Sense of Problems with Structures of Equality (SoE)

I once heard a math teacher describe word problems as “the bane of her existence”. I completely understand that sentiment. Students don’t know what the problem is asking, choose random operations, or give up completely. That’s why I created Structures of Equality.  If you haven’t been following along, you’ll probably want to start with my […]

October 4, 2023

How to teach word problems in a way that students comprehend

best way to teach word problems

There are so many word problem strategies to choose from. It can be confusing to figure out which ones to use or not use, and how to teach so students understand them. When I was in the classroom, I came across tons of tips and tricks, but they seemed to confuse my students more. Teaching […]

September 27, 2023

What is the best way to teach word problems?

There are many different word problem approaches used in mathematics classrooms. But one common struggle is prevalent through all of them. Teachers and students alike grow increasingly frustrated when approaching story problems. Common concerns from teachers include: If you’ve ever worked with students on word problems, you’ve likely come across these scenarios. With so many […]

September 20, 2023

Word Problem Instruction Reinvented

Analyzing the impact of Structures of Equality in classrooms For years, teachers have struggled with how to help students with word problems. A quick internet search will pull up tons of strategies for solving word problems. The barrier? None of them adequately address the issue of reading comprehension. “Word problems in mathematics often pose a […]

September 13, 2023

A class by class data comparison

reading comprehension tool

You survived the wait! I’ve been teasing for the last 3 weeks, building up to the unveiling of Structures of Equality. Last week, you got a sneak peek. Today, you get a full introduction. A Quick Recap I created Structures of Equality when I became frustrated with common word problem solving approaches. In my blog […]

September 6, 2023

A Reading Comprehension Tool to Solve Math Word Problems 

Bar Models and CGI

This week, I’m thrilled to deliver on a big promise I made to you last time. I will introduce a systematic approach to help students comprehend story problems in math. Last week, I explored four common approaches to solving story problems and assessed their strengths and limitations. Even though numberless word problems and bar models […]

August 30, 2023

If bar models and CGI had a baby, it would be Structures of Equality

Do you dread giving your students word problems? It’s no secret that story problems are challenging. The complexity of story problems can leave students confused and frustrated.  As educators, we understand the importance of cultivating problem-solving and critical thinking skills. But the path to fostering these abilities can be unclear. The challenge with word problems  […]

August 23, 2023

Common strategies for solving math word problems: the advantages and pitfalls

Story problems help develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, but many students still struggle to crack their code.

August 16, 2023

Why students struggle with word problems in math