Word problem problems?

Have students who cringe at the sound of “If one train is traveling…”? A graphic organizer can help those students who have difficulty working through math problems or explaining how they got their answer. Teacher Deborah at Multi-Grade Matters gives the following example of a problem solving graphic organizer she uses in her classroom. This organizer helps students break the process into four steps: writing down what they know in the first box, what they are looking for in the second box, solving the equation in the third box, and explaining why their choices/steps in the fourth box. This process can help students think more critically about their work and understand the “how” and “why” of mathematics as well as the “what”.

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