Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Let's Talk About Math! - Using Partners to Help Solve Word Problems

I'm actually getting a post done on a Tuesday.
It's a perfect day to link up with Holly for
Last week in 3rd grade we worked on multi-step word problems.
I know some you will disagree with me,
but my kids understood them and I believe it is because 
of the CCSS we implemented this year.

This my fifth year teaching 3rd grade
and it's the first time everyone in the class
was able to solve these problems.
 I mean everyone including my resource students!

This year I was able to spend more time 
working on multiplication and division stories
and this helped with the multi-step stories.

One fun activity we used was a genius idea from

 This activity is great because the kids did work on
their own and with a partner.
Step 1:  On your own, read the word problem.
If you want, highlight the important info 
and underline the question.
Think about how you would solve the problem.
Step 2:  Meet with your partner and discuss
how to solve the problem.

Step 3:  Go back to your seat and on your own, solve the problem.
Step 4:  Get back with your partner and compare answers.
If you got different answers, review  your strategies and work.
If you got the same answer, discuss how you solved it.

My kids loved this!
This strategy really helped my kids that weren't 
sure about how to solve these problems.
I could see they felt confident going back
and trying to figure out the answer
after they had discussed it with their partner.

What are some strategies, techniques or activities you use with word problems?


  1. Wow! What a great post, Jeanette! Thank you for sharing this strategy. Multi-step word problems are so tricky even in 4th grade. Kudos to you and your students for your success!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  2. So glad you're having such success with such a difficult concept! I bet your students feel less intimidated working with a partner and are feeling more confident in math! Yay!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  3. True partner work is underrated. The upside of having kids teach and learn from each other can't really be measured. :)

  4. I just nominated you for the Sunshine Award! http://ateaspoonofteaching.blogspot.com/

  5. Awesome! I love using partners always in my class. It makes everything so much better and the kids love it!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'