- Breaking down a word problem into smaller steps. I always have them refer to the example problem to see what steps apply to a similar word problem and which steps may be slightly different. Students usually say, “that takes too long”.
- Focusing on what their answer needs to answer. I tell students to underline or highlight what the word problem is asking for in terms of an answer and does the answer they found match. Students will do this if I encourage them to do so, but sometimes find that they did not complete the word problem entirely.
- Relating what math concept we’re working on so that it can be used to help solve a word problem; Students get lost in the words and the steps and then forget what we learned about for the past few days so that it can help us solve the word problem. I ask them how does what we’ve been learning to do help us to solve this problem. It sparks motivation, but students still seem overwhelmed.