Last Minute Halloween Idea = Freebie for You!

Halloween is right around the corner (literally) and I like to bring in thematic resources and activities when I can.  So, this week in math we will work with some Halloween themed word problems.

More specifically, the students will write their own word problems. Say what? Yep.  They will write their own addition and subtraction word problems.  We have spent a lot of time solving lots these, so the move to writing their own seems logical.

Why have students write their own word problems?  It's a great way to get them interacting more closely with this particular math skill. By thinking carefully about how to structure their own word problems, they are also more likely to more carefully as they solve other word problems.

I wonder how many more times I can say "word problems" in this post. Ha!

So, I created this fun little "What's the Problem?" mini book for my students to use this week. 

So, here is how you use the booklet.  Each page features an answer to a problem.  The students are tasked with writing word problems (our math program calls them story problems) that go with the provided answer.  

This skill builds upon what the students already know about word problems, but it also challenges them to think about them in a different way.

I plan to complete a few pages together first, after modeling it on the board a few times.  We may even make an anchor chart together.  We will talk about expectations, patterns that we see in word problems, key words to use, and so forth.  This way, students will begin to understand how to be successful with this skill before they are tasked with working on it independently.

When I introduce this with my students, I will teach them to write 3 sentences total.  The first two sentences will spell out the problem.  The third sentence will ask the question.  And, they will use the label throughout their problem.  For example:

There were 10 kids wearing costumes.  Then, 1 more kid in a costume joined them.  In all, how many kids are in costume?

In the space below the story, you could have your students model the problem with drawings, numbers, etc.

You can grab your free copy by clicking here.

This activity was inspired by a training I took a while back, as well as an anchor chart for Think Math that I saw here.

You can find my other "What's the Problem?" mini books here.

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  1. Each day as a math warmup we do What's the Question and my kiddies LOVE it. These will be fun to use around Halloween! Thanks!

    Creekside Teacher Tales

    1. Thanks great, Tracy! I remember learning about this method at a workshop I took last spring, but I forgot all about it until I came upon the anchor chart I mentioned in the post. I hope you find it useful, and fun!! Thanks for commenting!


  2. What a fun idea! I'm taking it and running ith it! Thanks so much for sharing,


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