HOW TO SOLVE MATHS WORD PROBLEMS

The objectives for the National Curriculum have recently changed and
for the first time this year students in Year 2 and 6 will be tested on their
reasoning skills in maths. This now involves the completion of multi step word
problems. Maths word problems can seem
daunting to students. However there are questions and strategies that you can
encourage your child to apply which can
develop their confidence in their mathematical reasoning and support
them in recording their thinking as they complete word problems.

Encourage your child to read and re-read the question attempting a
word problem. Some children may find it
useful to sketch or even build a simple model in order to visualise and
understand the question. Colour coding,
circling, underlining or boxing key words are also effective tools in
developing an understanding of the question.
At this stage, your child should ask themselves, “What is the problem
asking?" Your child should also
consider and predict what a reasonable answer to the question might be.

As your child solves the word problem they should record their
thinking and strategies; for example: by working backwards through the problem,
using lists or charts and noting any patterns.
During the solving process, your child should consider if their strategy
is effective. Recording their thinking
is important as marks can be awarded for using the correct method.

After solving the problem, encourage your child to check their
calculations and ask themselves if they have answered the question, and that
their answer makes sense. Finally, they
should write their answer in a sentence using mathematical
vocabulary.

The following mnemonics - RUCSAC and CUBES- are useful strategies in
to use in developing a problem solving skills.

**Read**and re-read the question.

**Underline**key words.

**Choose**the operation or operations.

Do I need to add, subtract, multiply or divide?

**Solve**the problem - record thinking and strategies.

**Answer**the question in a sentence.

**Check**the answer.

**Circle**important words

**Underline**the question or questions

**Box**the actions

**Eliminate**extra unnecessary information

**Solve**the question and show your thinking

**.**