Word Problem Wednesday

Popping in super quick to share an idea with ya!
I don't know about you, but my kiddos struggle with word problems more than pretty much anything....they struggle with remembering what all the words mean...
- how many fewer
- in all
- how many all together
- how much greater
- _ times as many
You get the idea.  Some of my peeps get confused as to what operation to use.  I have the cute posters up, and that helps....but practice makes perfect:)
A few months ago I decided we needed some more word problem practice...so Word Problem Wednesday was born:)
Every Wednesday afternoon I devote to word problems.  Random word problems from our textbooks.  I try to mix it up lots:)  The kids really like it and look forward to it.  They all have their dry erase boards
and their books and I also put each problem up on the ELMO.  I set a timer and give them 1-2 minutes to solve it depending on the problem.  Now, when I started this I was having the kids raise their hands.....well my teammie started doing this too and she added some more fun. 
A) using Class Dojo to pick kiddos randomly
B) adding some simple prizes
Love that random button!!!!!
"Prizes" are simply pencils and erasers.  They love it even more now;)  With the random picker, I call on the student it picks...if they have the wrong answer I hit it again and pick someone else.  Once I get a correct answer, they all hold up their boards to show me their answers and I can see who got it and who didn't.  Word problems have become fun and not so threatening now:)  Last week our time got cut about 10 minutes short and they were complaining......did you hear me?!?!?!  Complaining because we didn't do word problems for long enough!!!!  Maybe this is something you can do in your classroom:)
Would love to hear how you tackle word problems with your kiddos:)


  1. I am starting Word Problem Wednesday next week, too!! We had snow days all this week so I didn't get to it. I love your idea of posting them and then using dry erase boards. I saw on another blog (blonde moment, can't remember which one!) that they suggested taking the numbers out of the problem and talking about what the problem was asking, what operation they should use, what the answer would look like,etc. Then give the numbers...that way the kids understood what they were doing and not just adding/multiplying/dividing whatever numbers were there! I love your blog and have used so many of your ideas...thanks for sharing!!

  2. I love the idea of Word Problem Wednesday. I've been doing Math Fact Basketball. They just stand in a line and I call out a problem- if they get it wrong the next person gets the problem. Then if they make the basket they get a point. It's the simplest thing but it's so effective. Also, can you do a post on how you use Class Dojo?! I'm looking into it and would love to see how you do it!

    Everyone deServes to Learn

  3. Love this idea! Send a link to this post to a friend too!

  4. Love the name and love the idea!

  5. This is a great idea! I did something similar last year, but on Fridays, and am about to start again this year. We do exemplars (not sure if that's a term used anywhere other than our county) which requires them to solve it more than one way and describe in writing how they solved and why they did that way. It's time consuming so I'd give them the problem on Monday and they had to work on it throughout the week while I was pulling math groups. Friday I would have 2-3 students come up and put their work on the document camera and read it and explain. They were REALLY motivated by this because they felt like they were the teacher. Then, students would give them a rating because that's how we grade them- out of four levels. They always want that expert "grade". It really motivated them and gave them great practice!!! This was a good reminder that I need to get back at it!!!
    Thank you!
    Collaboration Cuties

  6. I don't know what a class dojo is?!!?

  7. I do word problems often, 3 times a week most weeks. I type them up and then students will glue the word problem strip to the top of their page in their math journal. I always read it aloud before I had it out. Students must work for 20 minutes independently (silently) to solve using as many strategies as they can. They are not to be finished once they have done it once. They need to prove their answer through other ways of thinking (number line, 100s chart, stacked addition etc). Then, I usually give them 10 minutes with a buddy to compare their thinking. Finally, we share strategies as a whole class.


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