If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

## Unit 1: Place value

Unit 2: addition, subtraction, and estimation, unit 3: multiply by 1-digit numbers, unit 4: multiply by 2-digit numbers, unit 5: division, unit 6: factors, multiples and patterns, unit 7: equivalent fractions and comparing fractions, unit 8: add and subtract fractions, unit 9: multiply fractions, unit 10: understand decimals, unit 11: plane figures, unit 12: measuring angles, unit 13: area and perimeter, unit 14: units of measurement, course challenge.

Because differences are our greatest strength

## At a glance

In preparation for fourth grade, third graders focus on using language and writing in all subjects.

Most kids who are ready for fourth grade understand why and how multiplication works.

Fourth graders have to support their statements about a text with facts and details.

Getting ready for fourth grade involves focusing on using language and writing in all subjects. Math skills include using more than one step or operation to solve a problem.

To see if your child is ready for fourth grade, take a look at your state’s academic standards . Not all states use the same standards, but many of them have similar expectations for students. Here are some of the key skills kids are expected to master by the end of third grade in preparation for fourth grade.

## Skills to get ready for grade 4: English language arts and literacy

To prepare for fourth grade, students are exposed to a variety of reading material, including fiction, nonfiction, charts, and maps. They’re expected to understand these new materials and write about what they’ve read . As writers, kids are expected to start organizing information and ideas more effectively and support their statements or observations with facts and details.

Rising fourth graders are also expected to know how to:

By the end of third grade, children need to be familiar with fractions and start to understand the “whys” of multiplication and division. In fourth grade, students begin to calculate the area of shapes and use different problem-solving strategies to solve word problems. To work on these skill areas, they’re expected to be able to:

See how learning and thinking differences can affect math skills . And explore a list of questions to ask about the school’s math instruction .

Kids learn at different rates. Don’t worry if your child hasn’t mastered all of these skills before starting fourth grade. But if your child is having trouble with many of these skills, you may want to consider talking with the teacher . Together you can come up with a plan to figure out what’s making learning harder.

## Key takeaways

In fourth grade, kids are expected to understand many types of stories and write research papers.

Consider talking to the teacher if your child is having trouble keeping up with schoolwork.

## Tell us what interests you

Amanda Morin is the author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education” and the former director of thought leadership at Understood. As an expert and writer, she helped build Understood from its earliest days.

## Reviewed by

Kristen L. Hodnett, MSEd is a clinical professor in the department of special education at Hunter College in New York City.

## Discover what’s possible when you’re understood.

We’ll email you our most helpful stories and resources.

## 10 Strategies for Problem Solving in Math

Jessica Kaminski

June 19, 2022

Kids often get stuck when it comes to problem solving. They become confused when you offer them word problems or include an unknown variable like x in their math question. In such cases, teachers have to guide kids through this problem-solving maze, which is why this article covers the strategies for problem solving in math and the ways your students can leverage them.

## What Are Problem Solving Strategies in Math?

To solve an issue, one must have a reliable strategy. Strategies for problem solving in math refer to methods of approaching math questions to ensure accurate results and increased efficiency. Such strategies simplify math for kids with no experience in problem solving and those already familiar with it.

There are various ways to implement problem solving strategies in math, and each method is different. While none is foolproof, they can improve your student’s problem-solving skills, especially with exercises and examples. The keyword here is practice — the more problems students solve, the more strategies and methods they pick up.

## Strategies for Problem Solving in Math

Even if a student is not a math whiz, appropriate strategies for problem-solving in math can help them find solutions. Students may solve math issues in many ways, but here are ten math strategies for problem solving with high success rates. Depending on usage and preference, the strategies give kids renewed confidence as they work through difficulties.

## Understand the Problem

Before solving a math problem, kids need to know and understand their nature. They should identify if the question is a fraction problem , a word problem, a quadratic equation, etc. An excellent way to boost their understanding is to look for keywords in the problem, revisit other similar questions, or check online. This step keeps the student on track.

Math for Kids

## Guess and Check

The guess and check approach is one of the time-intensive strategies for problem solving in math. Students are to keep guessing until they find the proper answer.

After assuming a solution,  kids need to put it back into the math problem to determine its accuracy. The procedure may seem laborious, but it often uncovers patterns in a child’s thought process.

## Work It Out

When kids are working on a math problem, please encourage them to write down every step. This strategy is a self-monitoring method for math students since it demands that they first understand the problem. If they immediately start solving the problem, they risk making mistakes.

Using this strategy, students will keep track of their ideas and correct mistakes before arriving at a final answer. Even after working out their math problems in the supplementary sheet, a child may still ask you to explain the processes. This confirmation stage etches the steps they took to solve the problem in their minds.

## Work Backwards

There are times when math problems may be best solved by looking at them differently. Kids need to understand that recreating math problems will be handy for project management and engineering careers.

Using the “Work Backwards” strategy, students anticipate challenges in real-world situations and prepare for them. They can start with the final result and reverse engineer it to arrive at the initial problem.

A math problem that may seem confusing to kids can generally become simpler once you represent it visually. Having kids visualize and act out the math problem are some of the most effective math strategies for problem solving.

Drawing a picture or making tally marks on a sheet of working-out paper is a visualization option. You could also model the process on the whiteboard and give students a marker to doodle before writing down the solution.

## Find a Pattern

Pattern recognition strategies help kids understand math fundamentals and remember formulas. The best way to uncover patterns in a math problem is to teach pupils to extract and list relevant details. They can use the strategy when learning shapes and repetitive concepts, which makes the approach one of the most effective elementary math strategies for problem solving.

Using this method, students will recognize similar information and find the missing details. Over time, this approach will help students solve math problems faster.

One of the best problem solving strategies for math word problems is asking oneself, “what are some possible solutions to this issue?” It helps you consider the question more carefully, think outside the box, and avoid tunnel vision when facing challenges. So, encourage kids to muse over math problems and not settle for the first answer that enters their minds.

## Draw a Picture or Diagram

Like visualization, creation of a diagram of a math problem will help kids figure out the best ways to approach it. Use shapes or numbers to represent the forms to keep things basic. Depending on the situation, patterns and graphs may also be valuable, and you can encourage kids to use dots or letters to represent the items.

Diagrams are even beneficial in many non-geometrical situations. After studying, students can create sketches of the concepts they read about for later revision. The approach will help kids determine what kind of math problem they are dealing with and the steps needed whenever they encounter a similar idea.

## Trial and error method

Trial and error approach may be one of the most common strategies for solving math problems. However, the efficiency of this strategy depends on its application. If students blindly try solving math questions without specific formulas or directions, the chances of success will be low.

On the other hand, if they start by making a list of possible solutions based on preset guidelines and then attempting each one, they increase their odds of finding the correct answer. So, don’t be quick to discourage kids from using the trial and error strategy.

Strategies for problem solving in math that involve reviewing solutions with peers are enjoyable. If students come up with different answers to the same question, encourage them to share their thought processes with the rest of the class.

You could also have a session with the class to compare children’s working techniques. This way, students can discover loopholes in their ideas and make the necessary adjustments.

Check out the Printable Math Worksheets for Your Kids!

Many strategies for problem solving in math influence students’ speed and efficiency in tests. That is why they need to learn the most reliable approaches. By following the problem solving strategies for math listed in this article, students will have better experiences dealing with math problems.

Jessica is a a seasoned math tutor with over a decade of experience in the field. With a BSc and Master's degree in Mathematics, she enjoys nurturing math geniuses, regardless of their age, grade, and skills. Apart from tutoring, Jessica blogs at Brighterly . She also has experience in child psychology, homeschooling and curriculum consultation for schools and EdTech websites.

Book 1 to 1 Demo Lesson

Is Your Child Struggling With Math? Book 1 to 1 Demo Lesson

Related posts.

May 25, 2022

## The Benefits of One on One Tutoring for Kids’ Development

Schools have changed significantly over the years, both in terms of structure and the process of learning. After-school support to boost kids’ performance has become more necessary. Knowing that extra help will set their kids on the path to mastery of school subjects, parents enlist professional tutors. So, if you are looking to do the […]

June 30, 2022

## What Is Standardized Testing?

As students progress through grades and levels in school, their teachers need to monitor the progress. The best way for teachers and schools to assess students is to apply standardized testing. The following sections will analyze standardized testing and help you make the right call when deciding whether your child or students should go through […]

March 8, 2022

## How to Teach Counting: All You Need to Know

Counting is a fundamental skill alongside reading, and kids should start learning to count much earlier than in pre-K. While counting seems simple, it’s a more complicated process under close consideration, especially when you explain it to kids. From this article, you will learn about stages of counting, its components, as well as strategies and […]

We use cookies to help give you the best service possible. If you continue to use the website we will understand that you consent to the Terms and Conditions. These cookies are safe and secure. We will not share your history logs with third parties. Learn More

Printable & online resources for educators

You are browsing Grade 4 questions. View questions in All Grades .

## Arithmetic and Number Concepts

Function and algebra concepts, geometry and measurement, mathematical process, logical thinking, problem solving strategies, statistics and probability concepts.

You can create printable tests and worksheets from these Grade 4 Problem Solving Strategies questions! Select one or more questions using the checkboxes above each question. Then click the add selected questions to a test button before moving to another page.

## CHALLENGE ZONE 4th Grade Math Problems

Welcome to our 4th Grade Math Problems. Here you will find our range of challenging math problem worksheets which are designed to give children the opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge to solve a range of longer problems.

These problems are also a great way of developing perseverance and getting children to try different approaches in their math.

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript.

Here you will find a range of problem solving worksheets.

The 4th grade math problems on the sheets are longer math problems designed to encourage children to use a range of math skills to solve them.

The skills the problems will help to develop include:

At fourth grade, the problems are starting to become more advanced with children needing to become more systematic in their approach and experimenting using trial and improvement strategies.

Many of the problems have addition 'What if ...' questions with them to extend learning and get children looking for alternative solutions.

## Captain Salamander's Puzzling Problems

Captain Salamander's Puzzling Problems involves using thinking and reasoning skills to work out two math challenges. The challenges also involve an element of trial and improvement. This sheet is available in standard and metric units.

The Broken Calculator problem is a number problem involving using an imaginary broken calculator with only the 4, 7, +, - and = buttons working to make different totals.

There are 2 versions of the problem sheet, one with a pre-prepared template for filling in, and a second blank version for children to show their own recording system.

Quadra's Magic Bag Challenges involves using thinking and reasoning skills to work out two math challenges. The challenges also involve an element of trial and improvement, and also some addition.

Tyger's Fishy Problems is a 4th grade math problem which involves using thinking and reasoning skills to solve two money challenges. This sheet is available in both dollars ( \$ ) and pounds ( £ ).

Bruno's Bones is an activity to encourage children to work systematically to find the number of bones that a dog called Bruno has buried in his garden. This is a good problem for using lists/tables to solve and also counting in single digit steps.

Don't Be Alarmed is a sequencing problem where a burglar alarm is switching different lights on and off at different times. It is good for developing mathematical modeling and using lists/tables to help solve problems.

Four Dogs Problem is a logic problem which involves using the clues to work out the owners for each of the four dogs.

## Fox vs Rabbit

Fox vs Rabbit is an another mathematical modeling activity which involves looking at the routes of a fox and a rabbit and working out at if/when the rabbit is likely to get caught.

## Frazer's Wall

Frazer's Wall is a trial and improvement activity which involves trying to work out the number of bricks that were laid in each day to make a set total of bricks. This problem can also be solved or modelled using algebra.

Make Me 100 is one of our 4th grade math problems designed to test children to find ways of making the numbers from 1 to 10 make 100 using different operators. It is good for developing perseverance and also for reinforcing the use of brackets of PEMDAS.

## Sally's Fruit Punch

Sally's Fruit Punch is a money and scaling activity. The aim is to use the information to work out how much ingredients are needed. The ingredients then need to be priced to work out a total cost.

Share the Treasure is a fraction sharing activity where the aim is to work backwards to find out how many bars of treasure the pirates had before they shared them all out. It is a good activity for developing fraction problem solving and working backwards.

## Something Fishy

Something Fishy is a money problem which involves working out exactly how many of each fish were bought in order to have spent \$150 on the fish. It is a good activity for using lists and tables to find all possibilities.

## The Rock Race #2

The Rock Race is a 4th grade math problem which needs some perseverance to complete. The aim of the activity is to try different routes around the 6 rocks to determine which route is the shortest.

Who Caught the Biggest Fish is a logical number problem where you need to use trial and improvement strategies to work out the order of size of the fish from the clues given about their weights.

## Looking for some easier math problems?

We have a range of easier word problems on our 3rd grade math problems page.

The problems on this page are at a simpler level than those here.

Many of the problems, e.g. Place It Right, Pick the Cards and Share the Treasure have easier versions on this page.

## Looking for some harder word problems

We have a range of more challenging word problems on our 5th grade problem solving page.

The problems on this page are at a trickier level than those here.

Some of the problems, e.g. The Rock Race and Sally's Fruit Punch and Frazer's Wall have harder versions on this page.

## Looking for some more fourth grade math word problems?

Each problem sheet comes complete with answers, and is available in both standard and metric units where applicable.

Using the problems in this section will help your child develop their problem solving and reasoning skills.

Here you will find a range of printable 4th grade math puzzles for your child to enjoy.

The puzzles will help your child practice and apply their addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts as well as developing their thinking and reasoning skills in a fun and engaging way.

All the puzzles support elementary math benchmarks for 4th grade.

Using games is a great way to learn Math facts and develop mental calculation skills in a fun and easy way.

The following games involve different 4th Grade Math activities which your child will enjoy playing.

Games include using negative numbers, decimal addition and subtraction, rounding, multiplying by 10s.

How to Print or Save these sheets

Need help with printing or saving? Follow these 3 easy steps to get your worksheets printed out perfectly!

Return from 4th Grade Math Problems to Math Salamanders Homepage

## Math-Salamanders.com

The Math Salamanders hope you enjoy using these free printable Math worksheets and all our other Math games and resources.

TOP OF PAGE

## Math Salamanders Shop

Looking for some fun printable math games?

We have some great games for you to play in our Math Games e-books!

## NEW Online Age Calculator

Do you know how old you are...in weeks? days? hours?

Are you more than a million minutes old?

Find out how old you are to the nearest second!

## NEW Fraction Calculators

We have updated and improved our fraction calculators to show you how to solve your fraction problems step-by-step!

Take a look and try them out!

## New Math Sheets & Resources

Check out our LATEST webpages.

## Some of our TOP pages!

Have a look at some of our most popular pages to see different Math activities and ideas you could use with your child

If you are a regular user of our site and appreciate what we do, please consider making a small donation to help us with our costs.

Get a free sample copy of our Math Salamanders Dice Games book with each donation!

## FUN Math Games

Looking for a fun and motivating way to learn and practice math skills?

Why not try one of our free printable math games with your students!

Looking for some cool math certificates to hand out?

A certificate is a great way to praise achievement in math learning.

Check out our printable math certificate collection!

## Characteristics

Solving word problems takes skill, attention to detail, and a good problem solving strategy. Fourth grade math word problems usually

involve one of the basic math operations - addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. It is not uncommon to see two operation types in one problem, but generally speaking there is often only one operation involved. The word problems themselves require either a one or two step calculation to correctly solve the question, and they are characterized by real world scenarios familiar to a 4th grade student.

A one-step problem may be as simples as, “Jack has \$4.25 and Kayla has \$3.80. How much money do they have altogether?” This straightforward problem merely requires the students to add the two amounts of money together. At the beginning of fourth grade, this would be an appropriate example of 4th grade math word problems. A more advanced one-step problem would be, “A friend tells you that they will be 405 weeks old on their next birthday. How old is that in years?”

Two-step word problems require more effort. For instance, “Michael ate 12 cookies, while his sister ate 9 cookies. If mom baked 56 cookies, how many are left?” Again this would be a word problem students may encounter at the beginning of 4th grade. More taxing problems could include the likes of, “A sign before a bridge says ‘weight limit 2 Tons.’ The pickup truck weighs 1,675 lb, and has a bag of sand that weighs 400 lb in the back. The driver weighs 175 lb. Should he drive the truck across the bridge?”

There are many different strategies for solving this type of problem, but the one that I have had the most success with is a four-step problem solving strategy.

A good place to find examples of 4th grade math word problems is the Primary Resources website . Here you will find a selection of free PDF, Word, and SMART Notebook files to download. It is an English site, so the equivalent US grade level is Year 5, but feel free to move up and down a grade to suit the abilities of your children. SMART Board users should also check out the resources on the SMART Exchange website . It has a selection of problems and teaching strategies for download. Abcteach.com also has another reasonably good selection of word problems that you can print out. If copyright allows, you can also run some of these PDFs through a free converter like www.pdftoword.com and then you will be free to edit any of the numbers to suit your needs.

## Differentiation

Word problems are relatively easy to differentiate by just changing the numbers in the story - larger numbers for the more gifted children, and smaller numbers for your less able students. You can also add or remove steps. One step problems are less work, and easier to solve, than two-step problems, so save those for your lower ability students, and add steps to challenge your gifted and talented children .

4th grade math word problems may seem like a chore to some students, but practice and perseverance is the keys to success. For more information on what is taught in 4th Grade Math, read 4th Grade Skills: What Every 4th Grader Needs to Know .

## 4th Grade Problem Solving Strategies

Nys common core grade 4, module 7, lesson 5.

## All Formats

Resource types, all resource types, results for problem solving strategies 4th grade.

## 4th Grade Long Division 16 Lessons Unit BUNDLE with Slides, Games, Worksheets

TPT empowers educators to teach at their best.

## Keep in Touch!

Are you getting the free resources, updates, and special offers we send out every week in our teacher newsletter?

## Teaching Problem Solving in Math

Every year my students can be fantastic at math…until they start to see math with words. For some reason, once math gets translated into reading, even my best readers start to panic. There is just something about word problems, or problem-solving, that causes children to think they don’t know how to complete them.

Every year in math, I start off by teaching my students problem-solving skills and strategies. Every year they moan and groan that they know them. Every year – paragraph one above. It was a vicious cycle. I needed something new.

I put together a problem-solving unit that would focus a bit more on strategies and steps in hopes that that would create problem-solving stars.

## The Problem Solving Strategies

First, I wanted to make sure my students all learned the different strategies to solve problems, such as guess-and-check, using visuals (draw a picture, act it out, and modeling it), working backward, and organizational methods (tables, charts, and lists). In the past, I had used worksheet pages that would introduce one and provide the students with plenty of problems practicing that one strategy. I did like that because students could focus more on practicing the strategy itself, but I also wanted students to know when to use it, too, so I made sure they had both to practice.

I provided students with plenty of practice of the strategies, such as in this guess-and-check game.

There’s also this visuals strategy wheel practice.

I also provided them with paper dolls and a variety of clothing to create an organized list to determine just how many outfits their “friend” would have.

Then, as I said above, we practiced in a variety of ways to make sure we knew exactly when to use them. I really wanted to make sure they had this down!

Anyway, after I knew they had down the various strategies and when to use them, then we went into the actual problem-solving steps.

## The Problem Solving Steps

I wanted students to understand that when they see a story problem, it isn’t scary. Really, it’s just the equation written out in words in a real-life situation. Then, I provided them with the “keys to success.”

S tep 1 – Understand the Problem.   To help students understand the problem, I provided them with sample problems, and together we did five important things:

We did this over and over with example problems.

Once I felt the students had it down, we practiced it in a game of problem-solving relay. Students raced one another to see how quickly they could get down to the nitty-gritty of the word problems. We weren’t solving the problems – yet.

Then, we were on to Step 2 – Make a Plan . We talked about how this was where we were going to choose which strategy we were going to use. We also discussed how this was where we were going to figure out what operation to use. I taught the students Sheila Melton’s operation concept map.

We talked about how if you know the total and know if it is equal or not, that will determine what operation you are doing. So, we took an example problem, such as:

Sheldon wants to make a cupcake for each of his 28 classmates. He can make 7 cupcakes with one box of cupcake mix. How many boxes will he need to buy?

We started off by asking ourselves, “Do we know the total?” We know there are a total of 28 classmates. So, yes, we are separating. Then, we ask, “Is it equal?” Yes, he wants to make a cupcake for EACH of his classmates. So, we are dividing: 28 divided by 7 = 4. He will need to buy 4 boxes. (I actually went ahead and solved it here – which is the next step, too.)

Step 3 – Solving the problem . We talked about how solving the problem involves the following:

We talked specifically about thinking strategies. Just like in reading, there are thinking strategies in math. I wanted students to be aware that sometimes when we are working on a problem, a particular strategy may not be working, and we may need to switch strategies. We also discussed that sometimes we may need to rethink the problem, to think of related content, or to even start over. We discussed these thinking strategies:

To make sure they were getting in practice utilizing these thinking strategies, I gave each group chart paper with a letter from a fellow “student” (not a real student), and they had to give advice on how to help them solve their problem using the thinking strategies above.

Finally, Step 4 – Check It.   This is the step that students often miss. I wanted to emphasize just how important it is! I went over it with them, discussing that when they check their problems, they should always look for these things:

Then, I gave students practice cards. I provided them with example cards of “students” who had completed their assignments already, and I wanted them to be the teacher. They needed to check the work and make sure it was completed correctly. If it wasn’t, then they needed to tell what they missed and correct it.

To demonstrate their understanding of the entire unit, we completed an adorable lap book (my first time ever putting together one or even creating one – I was surprised how well it turned out, actually). It was a great way to put everything we discussed in there.

Once we were all done, students were officially Problem Solving S.T.A.R.S. I just reminded students frequently of this acronym.

Stop – Don’t rush with any solution; just take your time and look everything over.

Think – Take your time to think about the problem and solution.

Act  – Act on a strategy and try it out.

Review – Look it over and see if you got all the parts.

Wow, you are a true trooper sticking it out in this lengthy post! To sum up the majority of what I have written here, I have some problem-solving bookmarks FREE to help you remember and to help your students!

You can grab these problem-solving bookmarks for FREE by clicking here .

You can do any of these ideas without having to purchase anything. However, if you are looking to save some time and energy, then they are all found in my Math Workshop Problem Solving Unit . The unit is for grade three, but it  may work for other grade levels. The practice problems are all for the early third-grade level.

## FIND IT NOW!

Check me out on tpt.

## Natural Disasters Vocabulary Interactive Booklet

Want to save time?

COPYRIGHT © 2016-2023. The Owl Teacher | Privacy page | Disclosure Page | Shipping | Returns/Refunds

## It’s one thing to solve a math equation when all of the numbers are given to you but with word problems, when you start adding reading to the mix, that’s when it gets especially tricky.

The simple addition of those words ramps up the difficulty (and sometimes the math anxiety) by about 100!

How can you help your students become confident word problem solvers? By teaching your students to solve word problems in a step by step, organized way, you will give them the tools they need to solve word problems in a much more effective way.

## Here are the seven strategies I use to help students solve word problems.

1. read the entire word problem.

Before students look for keywords and try to figure out what to do, they need to slow down a bit and read the whole word problem once (and even better, twice). This helps kids get the bigger picture to be able to understand it a little better too.

## 2. Think About the Word Problem

Students need to ask themselves three questions every time they are faced with a word problem. These questions will help them to set up a plan for solving the problem.

## Here are the questions:

A. what exactly is the question.

What is the problem asking? Often times, curriculum writers include extra information in the problem for seemingly no good reason, except maybe to train kids to ignore that extraneous information (grrrr!). Students need to be able to stay focused, ignore those extra details, and find out what the real question is in a particular problem.

## B. What do I need in order to find the answer?

Students need to narrow it down, even more, to figure out what is needed to solve the problem, whether it’s adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, or some combination of those. They’ll need a general idea of which information will be used (or not used) and what they’ll be doing.

This is where key words become very helpful. When students learn to recognize that certain words mean to add (like in all, altogether, combined ), while others mean to subtract, multiply, or to divide, it helps them decide how to proceed a little better

Here’s a Key Words Chart I like to use for teaching word problems. The handout could be copied at a smaller size and glued into interactive math notebooks. It could be placed in math folders or in binders under the math section if your students use binders.

One year I made huge math signs (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and divide symbols) and wrote the keywords around the symbols. These served as a permanent reminder of keywords for word problems in the classroom.

## C. What information do I already have?

This is where students will focus in on the numbers which will be used to solve the problem.

## 3. Write on the Word Problem

This step reinforces the thinking which took place in step number two. Students use a pencil or colored pencils to notate information on worksheets (not books of course, unless they’re consumable). There are lots of ways to do this, but here’s what I like to do:

## 4. Draw a Simple Picture and Label It

Drawing pictures using simple shapes like squares, circles, and rectangles help students visualize problems. Adding numbers or names as labels help too.

For example, if the word problem says that there were five boxes and each box had 4 apples in it, kids can draw five squares with the number four in each square. Instantly, kids can see the answer so much more easily!

## 5. Estimate the Answer Before Solving

Having a general idea of a ballpark answer for the problem lets students know if their actual answer is reasonable or not. This quick, rough estimate is a good math habit to get into. It helps students really think about their answer’s accuracy when the problem is finally solved.

## 6. Check Your Work When Done

This strategy goes along with the fifth strategy. One of the phrases I constantly use during math time is, Is your answer reasonable ? I want students to do more than to be number crunchers but to really think about what those numbers mean.

Also, when students get into the habit of checking work, they are more apt to catch careless mistakes, which are often the root of incorrect answers.

## 7. Practice Word Problems Often

Just like it takes practice to learn to play the clarinet, to dribble a ball in soccer, and to draw realistically, it takes practice to become a master word problem solver.

When students practice word problems, often several things happen. Word problems become less scary (no, really).

They start to notice similarities in types of problems and are able to more quickly understand how to solve them. They will gain confidence even when dealing with new types of word problems, knowing that they have successfully solved many word problems in the past.

## If you’re looking for some word problem task cards, I have quite a few of them for 3rd – 5th graders.

This 3rd grade math task cards bundle has word problems in almost every one of its 30 task card sets..

There are also specific sets that are dedicated to word problems and two-step word problems too. I love these because there’s a task card set for every standard.

This 4th Grade Math Task Cards Bundle also has lots of word problems in almost every single of its 30 task card sets. These cards are perfect for centers, whole class, and for one on one.

## Want to try a FREE set of math task cards to see what you think?

Thanks so much for stopping by!

## Fraction Activities Students Love

Fractions can be tough! While it takes time and repeated exposure with fractions for students to have a real understanding of them, there are lots

## Math Games Using Dice

Games are an important part of math class, in my opinion. Not only are kids able to practice the skills that we have been focusing

## Math Games Using Dominoes

Math games have always been part of our math time. I love the fact that any time I introduce a math game, I know I’ll

Hi, I’m Jenn, CEO and owner of The Teacher Next Door!

I know that you strive to be an effective upper elementary teacher while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

In order to do that, you need resources that are impactful, yet simple .

The problem is that most resources and curriculums out there are far from simple. The pages upon pages of daily lesson plans are just plain overwhelming .

At TTND, we believe teachers should be living their lives outside of the classroom, and not spend hours lesson planning and searching for resources.

We understand that now, more than ever, teachers need space to be themselves which is why we create and support teachers with timesaving tips and standards-aligned resources.

Trending posts.

## POPULAR RESOURCES

Teachers Pay Teachers

Free Resource Library

Disclosures

Refund Policy

Reward Points

* Please note: If your school has strong email filters, you may wish to use your personal email to ensure access.

## Classroom Q&A

With larry ferlazzo.

## Four Teacher-Recommended Instructional Strategies for Math

• Share article

(This is the first post in a two-part series.)

The new question-of-the-week is:

What is the single most effective instructional strategy you have used to teach math?

This post is part of a longer series of questions and answers inviting educators from various disciplines to share their “single most effective instructional strategy.”

Two weeks ago, educators shared their recommendations when it came to teaching writing.

Last month , it was about teaching English-language learners.

There are many more to come!

Today, Cindy Garcia, Danielle Ngo, Patrick Brown, and Andrea Clark share their favorite math instructional strategies.

## ‘Concrete Representational Abstract’

Cindy Garcia has been a bilingual educator for 14 years and is currently a district instructional specialist for PK-6 bilingual/ESL mathematics. She is active on Twitter @CindyGarciaTX and on her blog:

The single most effective strategy that I have used to teach mathematics is the Concrete Representational Abstract (CRA) approach.

During the concrete step, students use physical materials (real-life objects or models) to explore a concept. Using physical materials allows the students to see and touch abstract concepts such as place value. Students are able to manipulate these materials and make sense of what works and what does not work. For example, students can represent 102, 120, and 201 with base 10 blocks and count each model to see the difference of the value of the digit 2 in each number.

During the representational step, students use pictures, images, or virtual manipulatives to represent concrete materials and complete math tasks. Students are making connections and gaining a deeper understanding of the concept by creating or drawing representations.

During the abstract step, students are now primarily using numbers and symbols. Students working at the abstract stage have a solid understanding of the concept.

The CRA approach is appropriate and applicable to all grade levels. It is not about the age of the student but rather the concept being taught. In 3rd grade, it is beneficial to students to have them use base 10 blocks to create an open-area model, then draw an open-area model, and finally use the multiplication algorithm. In algebra, it is STILL beneficial to practice using algebra tiles to multiply polynomials using an open-area model.

The CRA approach provides students P-12 to have multiple opportunities to explore concepts and make connections with prior concepts. Some teachers try to start teaching a concept at the abstract level, for example, the standard algorithm for multiplication. However, they soon find out that students have difficulty remembering the steps, don’t regroup, or don’t line up digits correctly. One of the main reasons is that students don’t understand this shortcut and they have not had the concrete & representational experiences to see how the shortcuts in the standard algorithm work.

## ‘Encouraging Discourse’

Danielle Ngo is a 3rd grade teacher and Lower School math coordinator at The Windward School . She has been a teacher for 10 years and works primarily with students who have language-based learning disabilities:

Growing up, so many of us were taught that there is one right answer to every math problem, and that there is one efficient way to arrive at that conclusion. The impetus to return to this framework when teaching math is a tempting one and one I’ve found myself having to fight actively against during my own classroom instruction. In my experience, the most effective way to counter this impulse is to mindfully increase the discourse present during my math lessons. Encouraging discourse benefits our students in several ways, all of which solidify crucial math concepts and sharpen higher-order thinking and reasoning skills:

Distributes math authority in the classroom: Allowing discourse between students—not just between the students and their teacher—establishes a classroom environment in which all contributions are respected and valued. Not only does this type of environment encourage students to advocate for themselves, to ask clarifying questions, and to assess their understanding of material, it also incentivizes students to actively engage in lessons by giving them agency and ownership over their knowledge. Learning becomes a collaborative effort, one in which each student can and should participate.

Promotes a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts: While the rote memorization of a process allows many students to pass their tests, this superficial grasp of math skills does not build a solid foundation for more complex concepts. Through the requisite explanation and justification of their thought processes, discourse pushes students to move beyond an understanding of math as a set of procedural tasks. Rather, rich classroom discussion gives students the freedom to explore the “why’s and how’s” of math—to engage with the concepts at hand, think critically about them, and connect new topics to previous knowledge. These connections allow students to develop a meaningful understanding of mathematical concepts and to use prior knowledge to solve unfamiliar problems.

Develops mathematical-language skills: Students internalize vocabulary words—both their definitions and correct usage—through repeated exposures to the words in meaningful contexts. Appropriately facilitated classroom discourse provides the perfect opportunity for students to practice using new vocabulary terms, as well as to restate definitions in their own words. Additionally, since many math concepts build on prior knowledge, classroom discussions allow students to revisit vocabulary words; use them in multiple, varied contexts; and thus keep the terms current.

## ‘Explore-Before-Explain’

Patrick Brown is the executive director of STEM and CTE for the Fort Zumwalt school district,in Missouri, an experienced educator, and a noted author :

The current COVID-19 pandemic is a sobering reminder that we are educating today’s students for a world that is increasingly complex and unpredictable. The sequence that we use in mathematics education can be pivotal in developing students’ understanding and ability to apply ideas to their lives.

An explore-before-explain mindset to mathematics teaching means situating learning in real-life situations and problems and using those circumstances as a context for learning. Explore-before-explain teaching is all about creating conceptual coherence for learners and students’ experiences must occur before explanations and practice-type activities.

Distance learning reaffirmed these ideas when I was faced with the challenge of teaching area and perimeter for the first-time to a 3 rd grade learner. I quickly realized that rather than viewing area and perimeter as topics to be explained and then practiced, situating learning in problem-solving scenarios and using household items as manipulatives can illustrate ideas and derive the mathematical formulas and relationships.

Using Lego bricks, we quickly transformed equations and word problems into problem-solving situations that could be built. Student Lego constructions were used as evidence for comparing and contrasting physically how area and perimeter are similar and different as well as mathematical ways to calculate these concepts (e.g., students quickly learned by using Legos that perimeter is the distance around a shape while area is the total shape of an object). Thus, situating learning and having students use data as evidence for mathematical understanding have been critical for motivating and engaging students in distance learning environments.

Using an explore-before-explain sequence of mathematics instruction helps transform traditional mathematics lessons into activities that promote the development of deeper conceptual understanding and transfer learning.

## A ‘Whiteboard Wall’

Andrea Clark is a grade 5-7 math and language arts teacher in Austin, Texas. She has a master’s in STEM education and has been teaching for over 10 years:

If you want to increase motivation, persistence, and participation in your math classroom, I recommend a whiteboard wall. Or some reusable dry erase flipcharts to hang on the wall. Or some dry erase paint. Anything to get your students standing up and working on math together on a nonpermanent surface.

The idea of using “vertical nonpermanent surfaces” in the math classroom comes from Peter Liljedahl’s work with the best conditions for encouraging and supporting problem-solving in the math classroom. He found that students who worked on whiteboards (nonpermanent surfaces) started writing much sooner than students who worked on paper. He also found that students who worked on whiteboards discussed more, participated more, and persisted for longer than students working on paper. Working on a vertical whiteboard (hung on the wall) increased all of these factors, even compared with working on horizontal whiteboards.

Adding additional whiteboard space for my students to write on the walls has changed my math classroom (I have a few moveable whiteboard walls covered in dry erase paint as well as one wall with large whiteboards from end to end). My students spent less time sitting down, more time collaborating, and more time doing high-quality math. They were more willing to take risks, even willing to erase everything they had done and start over if necessary. They were able to solve problems that were complex and challenging, covering the whiteboards with their thinking and drawing.

And my students loved it. They were excited to work together on the whiteboards. They were excited to come to math and work through difficult problems together. They moved around the room, talking to other groups and sharing ideas. The fact that the boards were on the wall meant that everyone could see what other groups were doing. I could see where every group was just by looking around the room. I could see who needed help and who needed more time to work through something. But my students could see everything, too. They could get ideas from classmates outside of their group, using others’ ideas to get them through a disagreement or a sticking point. It made formally presenting their ideas easier, too; everyone could just turn and look at the board of the students who were sharing.

I loved ending the math class with whiteboards covered in writing. It reminded me of all of the thinking and talking and collaborating that had just happened. And that was a good feeling at the end of the day. Use nonpermanent vertical surfaces and watch your math class come alive.

Thanks to Cindy, Danielle, Patrick, and Andrea for their contributions!

Consider contributing a question to be answered in a future post. You can send one to me at [email protected] . When you send it in, let me know if I can use your real name if it’s selected or if you’d prefer remaining anonymous and have a pseudonym in mind.

You can also contact me on Twitter at @Larryferlazzo .

Education Week has published a collection of posts from this blog, along with new material, in an e-book form. It’s titled Classroom Management Q&As: Expert Strategies for Teaching .

Just a reminder; you can subscribe and receive updates from this blog via email (The RSS feed for this blog, and for all Ed Week articles, has been changed by the new redesign—new ones are not yet available). And if you missed any of the highlights from the first nine years of this blog, you can see a categorized list below.

• This Year’s Most Popular Q&A Posts
• Race & Racism in Schools
• School Closures & the Coronavirus Crisis
• Best Ways to Begin the School Year
• Best Ways to End the School Year
• Student Motivation & Social-Emotional Learning
• Implementing the Common Core
• Facing Gender Challenges in Education
• Teaching Social Studies
• Cooperative & Collaborative Learning
• Using Tech in the Classroom
• Student Voices
• Parent Engagement in Schools
• Teaching English-Language Learners
• Writing Instruction
• Education Policy Issues
• Differentiating Instruction
• Math Instruction
• Science Instruction
• Author Interviews
• Entering the Teaching Profession
• The Inclusive Classroom
• Learning & the Brain
• Relationships in Schools
• Professional Development
• Instructional Strategies
• Best of Classroom Q&A
• Professional Collaboration
• Classroom Organization
• Mistakes in Education
• Project-Based Learning

I am also creating a Twitter list including all contributors to this column .

The opinions expressed in Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Edweek top school jobs.

• Prodigy Math
• Prodigy English

From our blog

• Is a Premium Membership Worth It?
• Promote a Growth Mindset
• Parent's Guide to Prodigy
• Assessments
• Math Curriculum Coverage
• English Curriculum Coverage
• Prodigy success stories
• Prodigy Teacher Dashboard Overview
• Help Students Learn at Home
• Remote Learning Engagement
• Teaching Strategies
• Parent Letter (English) PDF
• Game Portal

## Why are effective Math strategies so important for students?

Getting students excited about math problems, top 9 math strategies for engaging lessons.

• How teachers can refine math strategies

Math is an essential life skill. You use problem-solving every day. The math strategies you teach are needed, but many students have a difficult time making that connection between math and life.

Math isn’t just done with a pencil and paper. It’s not just solving word problems in a textbook. As an educator, you need fresh ways for math skills to stick while also keeping your students engaged.

In this article, we’re sharing 9 engaging math strategies to boost your students’ learning . Show your students how fun math can be, and let’s freshen up those lesson plans!

Unlike other subjects, math builds on itself. You can’t successfully move forward without a strong understanding of previous materials. And this makes math instruction difficult.

To succeed in math, students need to do more than memorize formulas or drill times tables. They need to develop a full understanding of what their math lessons mean , and how they translate into the real world. To reach that level of understanding, you need a variety of teaching strategies.

Conceptual understanding doesn’t just happen at the whiteboard. But it can be achieved by incorporating fun math activities into your lessons, including

• Hands-on practice
• Collaborative projects
• Gamified or game-based learning

Repetition and homework are important. But for these lessons to really stick, your students need to find the excitement and wonder in math.

Creating excitement around math can be an uphill battle. But it’s one you and your students can win!

Math is a challenging subject — both to teach and to learn. But it’s also one of the most rewarding. Finding the right mix of fun and learning can bring a lot of excitement to the classroom.

Think about what your students already love doing. Video games? Legos? Use these passions to create exciting math lesson plans your students can relate to.

Hands-on math practice can engage students that have disconnected from math. Putting away the pencils and textbooks and moving students out of their desks can re-energize your classroom.

If you’re teaching elementary or middle school math, find ways for your students to work together. Kids this age crave peer interaction. So don’t fight it — provide it!

Play a variety of math games or puzzles . Give them a chance to problem-solve together. Build real-world skills in the classroom while also boosting student confidence.

And be sure to celebrate all the wins! It is easy to get bogged down with instruction and testing. But even the smallest accomplishments are worth celebrating. And these rewarding moments will keep your students motivated and pushing forward.

Keep reading to uncover all of our top math strategies for keeping your students excited about math.

## 1. Explicit instruction

You can’t always jump straight into the fun. Explicit instruction still provides the best foundation for the activities to come.

Set up your lesson for the day at the whiteboard, along with materials to demonstrate the coming activities. Make sure to also focus on any new vocabulary and concepts.

Tip: don't stay here for too long. Once the lesson is introduced, move on to the next fun strategy for the day!

## 2. Conceptual understanding

Helping your students understand the concept behind the lesson is crucial, but not always easy. Even your highest performing students may only be following a pattern to solve problems, without grasping the “why.”

Visual aids and math manipulatives are some of your best tools to increase conceptual understanding. Math is not a two dimensional subject. Even the best drawing of a cone isn’t going to provide the same experience as holding one. Find ways to let your students examine math from all sides.

Math manipulatives don’t need to be anything fancy. Basic wooden blocks, magnets, molding clay and other toys can create great hands-on lessons. No need to invest in expensive or hard-to-find materials.

Math word problems are also a great time to break out a full-fledged demo. Hot Wheels cars can demonstrate velocity and acceleration. A tape measure is an interactive way to teach area and volume. These materials give your students a chance to bring math off the page and into real life.

## 3. Using concepts in Math vocabulary

There’s more than one way to say something. And the more ways you can describe a mathematical concept, the better. Subtraction can also be described as taking away or removing. Memorizing multiplication facts is useful, but seeing these numbers used to calculate area gives them new meaning.

Some math words are going to be unfamiliar. So to help students get comfortable with these concepts, demonstrate and label math ideas throughout your classroom . Understanding comes more easily when students are surrounded by new ideas.

For example, create a division corner in your station rotations , with blocks to demonstrate the concept of one number going into another. Use baskets and labels to have students separate the blocks into each part of the division problem: dividend, divisor, quotient and remainder.

Give students time to explore, and teach them big ideas with both academic and everyday terms. Demystify math and watch their confidence build!

## 4. Cooperative learning strategies

When students work together, it benefits everyone. More advanced students can lead, helping them solidify their knowledge. And they may have just the right words to describe an idea to others who are struggling.

It is rare in real-life situations for big problems to be solved alone. Cooperative learning allows students to view a problem from various angles. This can lead to more flexible, out-of-the-box thinking.

After reviewing a word problem together as a class, ask small student groups to create their own problems. What is something they care about that they can solve with these skills? Involve them as much as possible in both the planning and solving. Encourage each student to think about what they bring to the group. There’s no better preparation for the future than learning to work as a team.

## 5. Meaningful and frequent homework

When it comes to homework, it pays to think outside of textbooks and worksheets. Repetition is important, but how can you keep it fun?

Create more meaningful homework by including games in your curriculum plans. Encourage board game play or encourage families to play quiz-style games at home to improve critical thinking, problem solving and basic math skills.

Sometimes you need homework that doesn’t put extra work onto the parents. The end of the day is already full for many families. To encourage practice and give parents a break, assign game-based options like Prodigy Math Game for homework.

With Prodigy, students can enjoy a fun, video game experience that helps them stay excited and motivated to keep learning. They’ll practice math skills, while their parents have time to fix dinner. Plus, you’ll get progress reports that can help you plan future instruction . Win-win-win!

Set an Assessment through your Prodigy teacher account today to reinforce what you’re teaching in class and differentiate for student needs.

## 6. Puzzle pieces math instruction

Some kids excel at math. But others pull back and may rarely participate. That lack of confidence is hard to break through. How can you get your reluctant students to join in?

Try giving each student a piece of the puzzle. When you’re presenting your class with a problem, this creates necessary collaboration to get to the solution.

Each student is given a piece of information needed to solve the problem. A number, a unit of measurement, or direction — break your problem into as many pieces as possible.

If you have a large class, break down three or more problems at a time. The first task: find the other students who are working on your problem (try color-coding or using symbols to distinguish each problem’s parts). Then watch the learning happen as everyone plays their own important role.

## 7. Verbalize math problems

There’s little time to slow down in the classroom. Instruction has to move fast to keep up with the expected standards. And students feel that, too.

When possible, try to set aside some time to ask about your students’ math struggles. Make sure they know that they can come to you when they get stuck. Keep the conversation open to their questions as much as possible.

One great way to encourage questions is to address common troubles students have encountered in the past. Where have your past classes struggled? Point these out during your explicit instruction, and let your students know this is a tricky area.

It’s always encouraging to know you’re not alone in finding something difficult. This also leaves the door open for questions, leading to more discovery and greater understanding.

## 8. Reflection time

Providing time to reflect gives the brain a chance to process the work completed. This can be done after both group and individual activities.

## Group Reflection

After a collaborative activity, save some time for the group to discuss the project . Encourage them to ask:

• What worked?
• What didn’t work?
• Did I learn a new approach?
• What could we have done differently?
• Did someone share something I had never thought of before?

These questions encourage critical thinking. They also show the value of working together with others to solve a problem. Everyone has different ways of approaching a problem, and they’re all valuable.

## Individual Reflection

One way to make math more approachable is to show how often math is used. Journaling math encounters can be a great way for students to see that math is all around.

Ask them to add a little bit to their journal every day, even just a line or two. Where did they encounter math outside of class? Or what have they learned in class that has helped them at home?

Math skills easily transfer outside of the classroom. Help them see how much they have grown, both in terms of academics and social emotional learning .

## 9. Making Math facts fun

As a teacher, you know math is anything but boring. But transferring that passion to your students is a tricky task. So how can you make learning math facts fun?

Play games! Math games are great classroom activities. Here are a few examples:

• Design and play a board game.
• Build structures and judge durability.
• Divide into groups for a quiz or game show.
• Get kids moving and measure speed or distance jumped.

Even repetitive tasks can be fun with the right tools. That’s why engaging games are a great way to help students build essential math skills. When students play Prodigy Math Game , for example, they learn curriculum-aligned math facts without things like worksheets or flashcards. This can help them become excited to play and learn!

## How teachers can refine Math strategies

Sometimes trying something new can make a huge difference for your students. But don’t stress and try to change too much at once.

You know your classroom and students best. Pick a couple of your favorite strategies above and try them out.

If you're looking to freshen up your math instruction, sign up for a free Prodigy teacher account. Your students can jump right into the magic of the Prodigy Math Game, and you’ll start seeing data on their progress right away!

Ideas, Inspiration, and Giveaways for Teachers

We Are Teachers

If a train leaving Minneapolis is traveling at 87 miles an hour…

Word problems can be tricky for a lot of students, but they’re incredibly important to master. After all, in the real world, most math is in the form of word problems. “If one gallon of paint covers 400 square feet, and my wall measures 34 feet by 8 feet, how many gallons do I need?” “This sweater costs \$135, but it’s on sale for 35% off. So how much is that?” Here are the best teacher-tested ideas for helping kids get a handle on these problems.

## 1. Solve word problems regularly

This might be the most important tip of all. Word problems should be part of everyday math practice, especially for older kids. Whenever possible, use word problems every time you teach a new math skill. Even better: give students a daily word problem to solve so they’ll get comfortable with the process.

## 2. Teach problem-solving routines

There are a LOT of strategies out there for teaching kids how to solve word problems (keep reading to see some terrific examples). The important thing to remember is that what works for one student may not work for another. So introduce a basic routine like Plan-Solve-Check that every kid can use every time. You can expand on the Plan and Solve steps in a variety of ways, but this basic 3-step process ensures kids slow down and take their time.

## 3. Visualize or model the problem

Encourage students to think of word problems as an actual story or scenario. Try acting the problem out if possible, and draw pictures, diagrams, or models. Learn more about this method and get free printable templates at the link.

## 4. Make sure they identify the actual question

Educator Robert Kaplinsky asked 32 eighth grade students to answer this nonsensical word problem. Only 25% of them realized they didn’t have the right information to answer the actual question; the other 75% gave a variety of numerical answers that involved adding, subtracting, or dividing the two numbers. That tells us kids really need to be trained to identify the actual question being asked before they proceed.

## 5. Remove the numbers

It seems counterintuitive … math without numbers? But this word problem strategy really forces kids to slow down and examine the problem itself, without focusing on numbers at first. If the numbers were removed from the sheep/shepherd problem above, students would have no choice but to slow down and read more carefully, rather than plowing ahead without thinking.

## 6. Try the CUBES method

This is a tried-and-true method for teaching word problems, and it’s really effective for kids who are prone to working too fast and missing details. By taking the time to circle, box, and underline important information, students are more likely to find the correct answer to the question actually being asked.

## 7. Show word problems the LOVE

Here’s another fun acronym for tackling word problems: LOVE. Using this method, kids Label numbers and other key info, then explain Our thinking by writing the equation as a sentence. They use Visuals or models to help plan and list any and all Equations they’ll use.

## 8. Consider teaching word problem key words

This is one of those methods that some teachers love and others hate. Those who like it feel it offers kids a simple tool for making sense of words and how they relate to math. Others feel it’s outdated, and prefer to teach word problems using context and situations instead (see below). You might just consider this one more trick to keep in your toolbox for students who need it.

## 9. Determine the operation for the situation

Instead of (or in addition to) key words, have kids really analyze the situation presented to determine the right operation(s) to use. Some key words, like “total,” can be pretty vague. It’s worth taking the time to dig deeper into what the problem is really asking. Get a free printable chart and learn how to use this method at the link.

## 10. Differentiate word problems to build skills

Sometimes students get so distracted by numbers that look big or scary that they give up right off the bat. For those cases, try working your way up to the skill at hand. For instance, instead of jumping right to subtracting 4 digit numbers, make the numbers smaller to start. Each successive problem can be a little more difficult, but kids will see they can use the same method regardless of the numbers themselves.

## 11. Ensure they can justify their answers

One of the quickest ways to find mistakes is to look closely at your answer and ensure it makes sense. If students can explain how they came to their conclusion, they’re much more likely to get the answer right. That’s why teachers have been asking students to “show their work” for decades now.

## 12. Write the answer in a sentence

When you think about it, this one makes so much sense. Word problems are presented in complete sentences, so the answers should be too. This helps students make certain they’re actually answering the question being asked… part of justifying their answer.

A smart way to help kids conquer word problems is to, well… give them better problems to conquer. A rich math word problem is accessible and feels real to students, like something that matters. It should allow for different ways to solve it and be open for discussion. A series of problems should be varied, using different operations and situations when possible, and even include multiple steps. Visit both of the links below for excellent tips on adding rigor to your math word problems.

## 14. Use a problem-solving rounds activity.

Put all those word problem strategies and skills together with this whole-class activity. Start by reading the problem as a group and sharing important information. Then, have students work with a partner to plan how they’ll solve it. In round three, kids use those plans to solve the problem individually. Finally, they share their answer and methods with their partner and the class. Be sure to recognize and respect all problem-solving strategies that lead to the correct answer.

Like these word problem tips and tricks? Learn more about Why It’s Important to Honor All Math Strategies .

Plus, 60+ Awesome Websites For Teaching and Learning Math .

Jill Staake is a Contributing Editor with WeAreTeachers. She has a degree in Secondary English Education and has taught in middle and high school classrooms. She's also done training and curriculum design for a financial institution and been a science museum educator. She currently lives in Tampa, Florida where she often works on her back porch while taking frequent breaks for bird-watching and gardening.

6 beauty, home and fashion finds you'll use all summer long — starting at \$13

• Watch Full Episodes
• TODAY Table
• Citi Music Series
• Pets & Animals
• Asian American Voices
• Black Voices
• Latino Voices
• LGBTQ Voices
• Listen All Day

More Brands

## Encourage a positive attitude toward math

It’s around fourth grade that many youngsters become discouraged by math and begin to think of it as a subject they’re just not good at. Be aware of this and try to prevent your child from developing a defeatist attitude toward math. Encourage them to stick with it when a problem appears difficult and to approach it in different ways.

## Read math problems out loud

If your child is struggling with math problems, have them read each problem out loud slowly and carefully, so your child can hear the problem and think about what is being asked. This helps them break down the problem and come up with problem-solving strategies.

## parenting-guides 4th Grade Parenting Guides

Integrate math into everyday activities.

Continue to find ways to integrate discussion of math concepts such as “times as much” into your everyday activities. Compare the weights of your fourth-grader and their siblings, or the family pet. Figure out how many times your cat’s weight your child weighs, and how many times your child’s weight their father weighs.

## Keep an eye out for math concepts

Encourage your child to spot examples of some of the math concepts they are learning about. See how many right angles or right triangles your child can spot. Or have them look for parallel lines, such as train tracks or pillars in a building.

## Highlight how math is used in cooking

Baking and cooking are among the best ways to familiarize your fourth-grader with how fractions work. Having them help out in the kitchen also reinforces valuable sequencing skills and time management concepts.

## Parenting Guides 4th grade math skills: Find out what you need to know for your student

Practice math in the car.

When you have a long trip to take in the car and your child asks how long until you get there, have them answer the question themselves by using math. Tell them how fast you’re traveling and how far away you are, and see if they can estimate how long it will take you to arrive.

## Use math in house projects

Encourage your child to use their math skills for projects around the house. If you’re wallpapering or carpeting, for example, have them calculate wall or floor areas and figure out the total cost of various materials.

## Encourage math appreciation through sports

Sports provide a fun and engaging way of exploring a host of mathematical concepts, starting with basic addition. The halves of a soccer game or the quarters of a football game offer an illustration of how fractions work in the real world. If your child enjoys a sport, encourage him or her to explore it through math.

## Encourage music appreciation

Music is a great way for your child to engage with concepts related to math. Practicing an instrument means learning about tempo, measure, and meter—all of which involve math.

## Play family games

Plenty of family games incorporate math. Tic-tac-toe, Connect Four, many card games, and dominoes are just some of the games that help build strategic thinking and math skills.

To find out what your fourth-grader will be learning in math class, check out our fourth grade math skills page .

Parent Toolkit resources were developed by NBC News Learn with the help of subject-matter experts, including Joyce Epstein, Director, Center on School, Family and Community Partnerships, Johns Hopkins University; Pamela Mason, Program Director/Lecturer on Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Denise Walston, Director of Mathematics, Council of the Great City Schools; Nell Duke, Professor, University of Michigan; Leanna Baker, Retired Math Teacher; Bon Crowder, Math Teacher and Blogger, MathFour.com; Robin Schwartz, VP, Association of Teachers of Math of NYC, and align with the Common Core State Standards.

• Subscribe |
• Daily Dose |
• Site Map
• Home   |
• SAT/ACT  |
• Common Core   |
• Online Practice   |
• Printables   |
• Tech  |
• Assessment

## Search Internet4Classrooms

Internet4classrooms is a collaborative effort by Susan Brooks and Bill Byles.

• Technology Skills   |
• Site Map   |
• Teacher Training   |

In order to continue enjoying our site, we ask that you confirm your identity as a human. Thank you very much for your cooperation.

• INTRODUCTION
• PRACTICE HERE
• RELATED CONTENTS

## Simple word problems solving strategies for grade 4

Get more contents on fourth grade..., math word problems for grade 4 online.

We encourage your 4th graders to engage in our Grade 4 math word problems with answers and explanations . This content is created to offer you excellent skills and strategies for solving all 4th-grade word problems.

Before now, your 4th graders have been striving to develop fluency in solving grade 4 math concepts.

However, our math word problems for grade 4 online and worksheets have stepped in with well-designed outstanding math stories for your kids to practice solving multi-step word problems involving real-life scenarios (money, time, distance, etc.), all-around addition word problems, subtraction word problems, multiplication word problems, division word problems, fraction word problems, decimal word problems, etc.

Also, in its most unique way, we are here to help your kids master the best ways of solving word problems in a step-by-step and organized way, thus to arrive at an accurate and concrete answer.

• Adding two numbers up to five digits word problems grade 4
• Adding two numbers up to seven digits word problems grade 4
• Estimating sums word problems grade 4
• Adding and subtracting decimals word problems
• Division facts up to 10 word problems grade 4
• Fractions Worksheets And Online Exercises With Answers
• Fractions of whole word problems grade 4
• Multiplication
• 3 digits or 4 digits number by 1 digit numbers multiplication word problems
• Comparing numbers using multiplication word problems grade 4
• Estimating products word problems grade 4
• Multiplying 2 digits number by 2 digits numbers word problems
• Multiplying a larger number by two digits numbers word problems
• Multiplying three or more numbers word problems
• Multiplying two digit number by one digit number word problems grade 4
• Subtraction
• Estimating differences word problems grade 4
• Subtract numbers up to seven digits word problems grade 4
• Subtracting two numbers up to five digits word problems

Hey kiddos! Get ready to enjoy our simple word problems solving strategies for grade 4 . These strategies have been given to help you easily connect the word problems and equations that represent those problems.

In other words, whether it’s a one-step or multi-step word problem for grade 4, gradually follow the steps below:

• The first step is to begin by reading the word problem carefully at least twice to understand the problem and its keyword perfectly. As such, you’ll correctly know what the problem is asking you to do.
• Next, you can now write the equation in your own words and then decide what strategy to use in finding the missing information. If it’s a two-step problem, distinguish the two parts of the problem, then identify and solve the first part. Next, the answer from the first step will help you solve the next step.

This is math-wordproblems.com a premium math quality website with original Math activities and other contents for math practice. We provide 100% free Math ressources for kids from Grade 2 to Grade 6 to improve children skills.

• Addition And Subtraction Online Practice And Worksheets
• Comparing And Ordering
• Divide Fractions
• Estimating Comparing Ordering Rounding
• Fractions And Mixed Numbers
• Mixed Operations
• Numbers Theory
• Solving And Estimation
• Whole Numbers

Use of contents.

Many contents are released for free but you're not allow to share contents directly (we advice to share website links), don't use these contents in another website or for commercial issue. You're suppose to protect downloaded contents and take it for personal or classroom use. Special rule : Teachers can use our contents to teach in class.

## Report a review

• Tweet This Resource
• Pin This Resource

## Problem-Solving Strategies

This problem-solving strategies worksheet also includes:.

• Join to access all included materials

Read carefully, look for key words, eliminate, estimate, check your answers.  Give your youngsters the strategies for approaching multiple-choice problem solving, focusing on multiplication and division of whole numbers, with this comprehensive set of worksheets.

Instructional ideas.

• As you go through the answers to the practice sample, consider having students role play each scenario with physical objects in order to illustrate what is happening in each problem
• Have learners demonstrate their thought processes and work on separate sheets of paper to submit when they turn in this worksheet
• Resource provides sample pre-test, strategies handout, and practice worksheet

## Common Core

Save time and discover engaging curriculum for your classroom. Reviewed and rated by trusted, credentialed teachers.

• Collection Types
• Activities & Projects
• Assessments
• Graphics & Images
• Handouts & References
• Interactives
• Lab Resources
• Learning Games
• Lesson Plans
• Presentations
• Primary Sources
• Printables & Templates
• Professional Documents
• Study Guides
• Instructional Videos
• Graphic Organizers
• Writing Prompts
• Constructed Response Items
• AP Test Preps
• Lesson Planet Articles
• Online Courses
• Interactive Whiteboards
• Home Letters
• Unknown Types
• Stock Footages
• All Resource Types

## See similar resources:

Math stars: a problem-solving newsletter grade 3, real-life word problems, math stars: a problem-solving newsletter grade 6, nothing but problems, real-life word problems, part 4, real-life word problems, part 6, properties of operations as strategies- independent practice worksheet, get ready for problem solving strategies, multiplication word problems, using groups of ten to solve problems.

#### IMAGES

1. 10 Minutes a Day: Problem Solving Math Fourth Grade

2. 😎 Problem solving math grade 4. 4th Grade Math Problems. 2019-02-01

3. Day 304: Problem Solving Strategies for Math

4. 😎 Grade 4 math problem solving. Problem solving in math for grade 4

5. 😍 Math problem solving for 4th grade. 4th grade math problems solving

6. 4th Grade Math Word Problems

#### VIDEO

1. 1st Grade Video 18: Solving Problems Part 2

2. finding a Musket rifle bullet with metal dedicator

3. more like weird 4th grade kids

4. Math grade 4 Fractions a Story problem #shorts ماث رابعة ابتدائي المنهج الجديد الترم الثاني الكسور

5. Problem Solving Strategies

6. "The Formula for Finding the Area of a Triangle: Understanding the Basics and Applications" #shorts

Multiply by 1-digit numbers 0/1300 Mastery points Comparing with multiplication Multiplication by 10s, 100s, and 1000s Multi-digit multiplication: place value and area models Estimate products Multiply with partial products Multiply by 2-digit numbers 0/500 Mastery points

In fourth grade, students focus most on using all four operations - addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division - to solve multi-step word problems involving multi-digit numbers....

3. Skills Kids Need Going Into Fourth Grade

In fourth grade, students begin to calculate the area of shapes and use different problem-solving strategies to solve word problems. To work on these skill areas, they're expected to be able to: Explain what multiplication and division are Know the times tables up to 12 and multiply numbers by 10

4. PDF Strategies for Problem Solving

Solving: Equip Kids to Solve Math Problems With Confidence By Bethany Lake Creator and Writer at ... problem, here are some strategies to use for various types of problems. !!!!! Strategies!for!ProblemSolving! ! www.MathGeekMama.com!!! ! 11!!!!! Problem Solve by Drawing ...

5. 10 Strategies for Problem Solving in Math

Math for Kids Is Your Child Struggling With Math? 1:1 Online Math Tutoring Let's start learning Math! Guess and Check The guess and check approach is one of the time-intensive strategies for problem solving in math. Students are to keep guessing until they find the proper answer.

Fourth Grade (Grade 4) Problem Solving Strategies questions for your custom printable tests and worksheets. In a hurry? Browse our pre-made printable worksheets library with a variety of activities and quizzes for all K-12 levels. ... Joshua's favorite math skill is adding numbers. He found the sum of 8,259 and 2,175 to be 10,434. Which ...

The 4th grade math problems on the sheets are longer math problems designed to encourage children to use a range of math skills to solve them. The skills the problems will help to develop include: systematic working. logical thinking. number fact knowledge. fraction problems. trial and improvement strategies.

8. 4th Grade Math Problem Solving Teaching Resources

Daily Problem Solving for Grade 4 takes a "problem of the day" approach to avoid overwhelming struggling or reluctant learners while they work to build confidence and competence with strategies for math word problems.Students love the format because it's both fun and engaging, with each week centering on a kid-friendly theme.

9. 4th Grade Math Word Problems: Strategies, Ideas and Examples for

Differentiation Characteristics Solving word problems takes skill, attention to detail, and a good problem solving strategy. Fourth grade math word problems usually involve one of the basic math operations - addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.

10. 4th Grade Problem Solving Strategies

Solve for the unknown. b. Write a problem of your own that could be solved using the diagram above. 5. Create a problem of your own using the diagram below, and solve for the unknown. Show Step-by-step Solutions Show Step-by-step Solutions Try the free Mathway calculator and problem solver below to practice various math topics.

11. Problem Solving Strategies 4th Grade Teaching Resources

This centers set covers multiplication and division for fourth grade standards. The focus of these centers is strategies and problem solving. There are 10 total centers. (CC and TEKS) Every center has an answer key included so students can easily check their work. Fill your fourth grade math centers/rotations with these activities!

12. Teaching Problem Solving in Math

The Problem Solving Strategies First, I wanted to make sure my students all learned the different strategies to solve problems, such as guess-and-check, using visuals (draw a picture, act it out, and modeling it), working backward, and organizational methods (tables, charts, and lists).

13. Strategies for Solving Word Problems

Here are the seven strategies I use to help students solve word problems. 1. Read the Entire Word Problem Before students look for keywords and try to figure out what to do, they need to slow down a bit and read the whole word problem once (and even better, twice).

14. Four Teacher-Recommended Instructional Strategies for Math

The CRA approach is appropriate and applicable to all grade levels. It is not about the age of the student but rather the concept being taught. In 3rd grade, it is beneficial to students to...

15. Top 9 Math Strategies for Successful Learning (2021 and Beyond)

The first task: find the other students who are working on your problem (try color-coding or using symbols to distinguish each problem's parts). Then watch the learning happen as everyone plays their own important role. 7. Verbalize math problems There's little time to slow down in the classroom.

Here are the best teacher-tested ideas for helping kids get a handle on these problems. 1. Solve word problems regularly This might be the most important tip of all. Word problems should be part of everyday math practice, especially for older kids. Whenever possible, use word problems every time you teach a new math skill.

17. PDF Improving Mathematical Problem Solving in Grades 4 Through 8

Assist students in monitoring and reflecting on the problem-solving process. 1. Provide students with a list of prompts to help them monitor and reflect during the problem-solving process. 2. Model how to monitor and reflect on the problem-solving process. 3. Use student thinking about a problem to develop students' ability to monitor and ...

By Aisha Labi Hoping to help your fourth-grader with math skills? Here are some basic tips that experts suggest. Encourage a positive attitude toward math It's around fourth grade that...

19. Multi-Step Problems Fourth 4th Grade Math Standards

Solve multi-step problems of various types using whole numbers, fractions, and decimals. (0406.2.13) Links verified on 11/5/2011. Cameron's Trip - multiply and divide to solve real-world problems ; Computation Castle - a game that requires the utilization of several math skills: mixed numbers/improper fractions, equivalent fractions, metric conversions, exponents, rounding to the nearest ...

20. Ch 6 : 4th Grade Math: Multiplication Strategies & Mental Math