*Students need to visualize a problem to understand it, especially younger students.As they get older, they can start to visualize in their head but at a young age they should be drawing out a picture that explains to them what the problem is about.You'll be expected to know that a "dozen" is twelve; you may be expected to know that a "score" is twenty.*

Don't start trying to solve anything when you've only read half a sentence.

Try first to get a feel for the whole problem; try first to see what information you have, and then figure out what you still need. Figure out what you need but don't have, and name things. And make sure you know just exactly what the problem is actually asking for.

Probably the greatest source of error, though, is the use of variables without definitions.

When you pick a letter to stand for something, write down explicitly what that latter is meant to stand for.

It can be as simple as “Molly has two dogs, Jason has three. If you try to solve the problem without knowing what tools you are given to solve it, you will not get the right answer.

Think about the last time you tried to fill in the blanks or assume an answer without knowing all the facts. It is for this reason that we need to list what is given before any problem.For instance, suppose you're told that "Shelby worked eight hours MTTh F and six hours WSat".You would be expected to understand that this meant that she worked eight hours for each of the four days Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; and six hours for each of the two days Wednesday and Saturday.There are some problems that prove difficult to a lot of students to understand. Students struggle with seeing the math behind the words. When your child reads the problem aloud, they are saying and hearing the problem. If each shelf can hold 16 books, how many books does Kevin have?Pick variables to stand for the unknows, clearly labelling these variables with what they stand for. You need to do this for two reasons: " stands for, so you have to do the whole problem over again.I did this on a calculus test — thank heavens it was a short test! (Technically, the "greater than" construction, in "Addition", is also backwards in the math from the English.You'll also be expected to know that "perimeter" indicates the length around the outside of a flat shape such as a rectangle (so you'll probably be adding lengths) and that "area" indicates the size of the insides of the flat shape (so you'll probably be multiplying length by width, or applying some other formula).And "volume" is the insides of a three-dimensional shape, such as a cube or sphere (so you'll probably be multiplying).As your child gets more practice with word problems, finding the key words will get easier.Here are some of the most popular key words for word problems: According to the chart above, we should use multiplication.

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