While many parents think that learning math has only to do with numbers, learning how to read the question and understand math vocabulary are key to helping your child to be successful at solving word problems. Word problems are typically introduced as early as kindergarten with very simple language; However, this skill is typically reinforced beginning in 3rd and 4th grade when many children become stronger readers. Word problems will continue to increase in complexity as your child progresses in school and will include multiple-step problems.
Word problems even appear in other subject areas beyond math including science, social studies, and language arts. This is why being able to break down the parts of a word problem and solve them correctly is very important skill to learn. These skills can also translate into real-life problem solving skills to help your child to make good choices and decisions.
The steps to helping your child at home to solve math word problems include: understanding what the question is asking and removing any unneeded information, finding key words as hints to determine the operation(s) needed to solve the problem, solving the problem, and checking the answer. Here is a good check list of the various steps and also key words your child should look for when solving the problem in order to determine the correct operation needed.
Over the next few posts, you will learn additional strategies that you can use at home to help your child become a strong word-problem solver.
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