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Uses explanations of the methods and reasoning behind the problem solution to determine reasonableness of and to verify results with respect to the original problem Level III (Grades 6-8) 1.
Formulates a problem, determines information required to solve the problem, chooses methods for obtaining this information, and sets limits for acceptable solutions 5.
Represents problem situations in and translates among oral, written, concrete, pictorial, and graphical forms 6.
Keeping this in mind, I teach word problems in terms of what the situation of the word problem is versus what key word is in the word problem.
Before I taught this strategy, many of my students read word problems in order to find the key words.
Understands that some ways of representing a problem are more helpful than others 4.
Uses trial and error and the process of elimination to solve problems 5.
In this lesson, students will take turns acting as "math coaches" who will assist other students in solving word problems by identifying key words that usually indicate specific mathematical operations. Uses a variety of strategies to understand problem situations (e.g., discussing with peers, stating problems in own words, modeling problem with diagrams or physical objects, identifying a pattern) 2.
Represents problems situations in a variety of forms (e.g., translates from a diagram to a number or symbolic expression) 3.
However, as fifth grade teachers know, key words only take the students so far.
I have read many articles and blog posts that are adamant against teaching key words, but many of them do not offer an alternative.