Teacher2Teacher Q&A #18266

Word problems using fractions

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From: Ralph (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Feb 25, 2007 at 11:59:47
Subject: Re: Word problems using fractions

Greetings, Thank you for writing to T2T. There is no "magic cure" for students who struggle with word problems in math (wish I had one -- it would be worth a LOT! :) However, it sounds like your student DOES have reasonably strong fraction SKILLS, which will be a big help in working through problems. One stumbling block I've often found with students is that they have difficulty understanding the "context" of the word problem, and thus have difficulty determining how what they know about fractions "fits" the problem. One possible way to help the student along is, once you've seen that the student "has" the skill you're working on, have HIM pose 2 or 3 word problems that could be solved using what has just been learned. Often by posing the problems themselves, students are not only able to make more sense out of the problem, but also have more of an interest in wanting to solve it. If you don't feel the problem the student has posed has gone "deep enough", then you can create problems that address your concerns, but with similar context to what the student has created. Hope this helps, -Ralph, for the T2T service

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