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Questions tagged [word-problems]

Word problems are a type of mathematics exercise in which a mathematical question is expressed in a written narrative and the student must use literacy skills to determine the correct operations and numbers to be used to find the solution. Use this tag for questions about writing, explaining, or grading word problems, or about whether certain word problems are or are not acceptable for certain purposes or certain skill levels.

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27 votes
7 answers

What value is there in requiring students to answer word problems in complete sentences?

This is related to my previous question What value is there in requiring students to declare the dimensions of an answer when it is already clear from context? , but with a different focus. A sizeable ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
9 votes
6 answers

What value is there in requiring students to declare the dimensions of an answer when it is already clear from context?

When I was in late primary and middle school (east coast US, early 1990's), we were assigned a lot of word problems of the following general form: Mary has eight self-sealing stem bolts. She sells ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers

Word problems written in past tense, present tense, or future tense

Does anyone have extensive classroom experience regarding the best verb tense to use when writing word problems at an elementary or middle school level? I have been writing some lessons recently and I ...
Ari's user avatar
  • 359
9 votes
6 answers

Don't these word problems seem designed to be confusing?

I'm a fairly new private math tutor, and I'm good at math (I have a BS from Caltech with lots of graduate level math), but becoming good at teaching math is something else, which I strive to improve ...
composerMike's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers

Interesting settings for exponential growth or decay

If you look for word problems about exponential growth or decay, in text books or on the internet, certain settings arise again and again: bank accounts, populations of animals, people or bacteria, ...
Chaim's user avatar
  • 635
4 votes
3 answers

Resources for precalculus applications

Do you know any good sources of free/open application-style problems for the precalculus level? I would like to use an OER precalculus book, but the few I am most happy with seem to lack (what we ...
Nick C's user avatar
  • 8,586
3 votes
1 answer

"Seeing" GCD and LCM in Word Problems

Last year, I taught GCD and LCM and then gave my students word problem relating to these concepts ("Two runners with given different speeds; when will they meet again?", "Having three kinds of flowers ...
Behzad's user avatar
  • 2,323
11 votes
3 answers

Difficulty with word problem interpretation

I've tutored math SAT prep for some years now, and have developed a routine with certain texts and exercises that I have found to be fairly successful in improving scores overall. I recognize that ...
bloomers's user avatar
  • 607
6 votes
0 answers

How to control for numerical factor in mathematics education research?

I am going to carry out a small scale action research on ratio problems. I would ask the same questions in different ways and see whether wordings would affect students' performance. However, past ...
IDontKnowMath's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer

How can I explain ratio problems without talking about ratio?

My students haven't learned about ratio yet, but in the test, there are questions that relate to ratio. I'm not sure how to explain this kind of problem without talking about ratio. For example, ...
EXL's user avatar
  • 311
12 votes
4 answers

request for evidence about class perspectives in math word problems

A recent publication: Anita Bright. Education for Whom? Word Problems as Carriers of Cultural Values. Taboo: The Journal of Culture and Education. (Spring 2016). pp. 6-22. Link No paywall. observes ...
Glenn Davis's user avatar
2 votes
8 answers

What is the value of sentence type maths problems for primary school students? [closed]

I am teaching English in a Japanese primary school and they have a Nepalese child who doesn't understand written Japanese especially so they got me to translate some maths problems for them. I had a ...
user2617804's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer

Reference request for studies on gender in math examples, homework problems, or math exams

I am looking for a study or reference on gender in math problems given in mathematics. In math texts or even on math exams, if there is a word problem involving people, these people or "characters" ...
Felix Y.'s user avatar
  • 1,400
13 votes
4 answers

Explaining the phrase "in terms of"

So, I'm a mathematics tutor, and I always run into this mental block that students have: they don't seem to understand what "in terms of" means. Also, the phrase "in terms of" is so useful, and it ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 233
12 votes
3 answers

Challenge questions for extremely bright kids

I suppose this is the place for my questions as much as any place is: I'm a math student coming on my 3rd year of undergrad, and I am working as a counselor at a Summer math camp. The camp is for 12-...
AJY's user avatar
  • 221
15 votes
7 answers

Where can I find realistic data for college-level elementary statistics problems?

I'm creating a large number of practice problems for my statistics students. These problems are for an elementary stats course where students: measure central tendency measure dispersion use linear ...
futurebird's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers

Is there a name for 'simple' two-input-one-output word problems?

Andy has 4 apples, and then eats 2. How many does he have left? Beth drives for 3 hours at 80 km/h. How far did she go? Carl, Debbie and Earl earned $30 together shoveling driveways. How much does ...
NiloCK's user avatar
  • 4,950
8 votes
4 answers

Unable to solve word problems, fluent in arithmetic

A colleague of mine, teaches math to 6th graders. Some of his students are completely fluent in arithmetic, but can't solve word problems. What practical ways exist to help them? Is there any ...
Behzad's user avatar
  • 2,323
28 votes
5 answers

Should word problems be reasonable?

I've recently run across a series of problems that didn't reflect reality. For example - An algebra problem with two teens on bicycles. The resulting times showed the bike was moving at 120MPH. ...
JTP - Apologise to Monica's user avatar