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


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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