Math problem solving steps

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  1. Four Steps to Success
  2. Four-Step Math Problem Solving Strategies & Techniques
  3. Module 1: Problem Solving Strategies
  4. Math Problem Solving Strategies - Maneuvering the Middle

Please submit your feedback or enquiries via our Feedback page. Problem Solving Strategies The strategies used in solving word problems. What do you know?

Four Steps to Success

What do you need to know? Show Step-by-step Solutions. You can use the free Mathway calculator and problem solver below to practice Algebra or other math topics.

Try the given examples, or type in your own problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations. Your computer can then use some as-yet-unknown equation to figure out exactly how many toys are hidden. Now that we have a plan, it's time for the big English-to-equation translation. Step 2: English-to-Equation Translation The second step in solving word problems is turning the words into one or more mathematical expressions or equations. In our case, we need to figure out how to write an equation that takes the current weight on a scale and gives us back the number of dog toys hidden on it.

How can we do it? How can we do that? We must have been clever enough to measure them and write them down before we put the towels on our scale.

7 Step Problem Solving

I should say that plugging in values isn't always necessary. The fourth step in the problem solving process is closely related to the first. The name of the game here is to slow down and take a minute to think about your result.

Four-Step Math Problem Solving Strategies & Techniques

Ask yourself if it makes sense. If you plugged in numbers and got a negative number , ask yourself if you expected to get a negative number. If you got a huge number, ask yourself if you expected that. Why have I included this as a step? In the real world, many problems you solve will make you think of something related that you need to solve, too.

Module 1: Problem Solving Strategies

The good news is that doing so is usually easier because you already have a solution to build upon. And those are all of the steps you should go through when solving real world math problems. Of course, once you get good, you won't actually think about doing each step—they'll just happen. Some of the possible strategies will be discussed in the rest of this article.

Carry out the problem solving strategy.

Math Problem Solving Strategies - Maneuvering the Middle

Check the solution. This check should make sure that you have indeed answered the question that was posed and that the answer makes sense. Step One — Understanding the Problem As you carefully read the problem, trying to clearly understand the meaning of the problem and the question that you must answer, here are some techniques to help.

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Identify given information — Highlighting or underlining facts that are given helps to visualize what is known or given. Identify information asked for — Highlighting the unknowns in a different color helps to keep the known information visually separate from the unknowns to be determined.

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Ideally this will lead to a clear identification of the question to be answered. Look for keywords or clue words — One example of clue words is those that indicate what type of mathematical operation is needed, as follows: Clue words indicating addition : sum, total, in all, perimeter. Clue words indicating subtraction: difference, how much more, exceed.

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  6. Clue words for multiplication: product, total, area, times. Clue words for division: share, distribute, quotient, average. Draw a picture — This might also be considered part of solving the problem, but a good sketch showing given information and unknowns can be very helpful in understanding the problem.