March Installment of "What's the Problem?"

Looking to challenge your students to take word problems to the next level?  Um, always!  Ok, that might just be me, but if you are too, then, be sure to give my (free) March installment of "What's the Problem?" a try.  These mini books are a great way to give students practice with writing their own addition and subtraction word problems. 

Students are tasked with creating a story (word)  problem for a given answer.  They have to use a different kind of thinking to do this, and they have to use the correct vocabulary terms as they write their problems (i.e. "how many more?" or "how many in all?" and so on).

When working on this skill, my students are taught to write three sentences.  The first two sentences pose the problem, and the third asks the question. I also tell my students that they need to use the answer label throughout their story.  For example:

Ryker found 12 gold coins.  Then, he found 8 more gold coins.  How many gold coins did Ryker find in all?

"What's the Problem?" is a great way to get students thinking about math from another angle and encourages them to use math vocabulary appropriately. They have to focus carefully on crafting their word problem and as they develop this skill, they will also be able to more easily solve other word problems.

When your students are ready, they could write two step story problems. Or, you could task them with adding "extra" information to their word problems as a device to try and "trick" the reader.  You could also have students draw a model for their word problem in the space at the bottom of each page. 

You can grab your free mini book here. 

Also, you can find my other "What's the Problem?" mini books here. 

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  1. Your number one fan of these problems thanks you for another great set! I love these because the students can show a variety of math and all have the same answer. (Plus, many of mine need reinforcement with writing sentences/questions!)

    1. Thanks Suzy! I'm so glad that you and your students enjoy using them! I also love that it reinforces writing sentences and questions; even though we review this, so many of them forget that question mark. Have fun with this month's version!


  2. This is fabulous!! :) Thank you so much! I found this and your blog through pinterst! :) I am your newest follower!! Love your blog!

    Smiles from 2nd Grade

    1. Thank you Katie! I'm so glad you found me! Enjoy the booklet!


  3. Such a cute idea! I need to get my kids to do this more often. Thanks for the freebie! I can't believe it is March already! CRAZY!!
    Bright Concepts 4 Teachers


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