Math Story Problems

Have you read Debbie Diller’s book Math Work Stations?  It’s full of really great math centers ideas!  While Lory read the book, she posted about what she’d learned through each chapter on her blog: Lory’s Page.  After reading Chapter 5, Lory posted about some math activities and I noticed her section about math story problems.

I have created classroom books in reading class but this is a great idea to create a classroom book in math class.  Students can write their own story problems and you can keep adding their story problems to the Classroom Story Problem book.  Lory says when students finish an assignment early, they are allowed to work on any of the problems in the class book.

To get started with this kind of project, create sentence frames that students can copy and add details.  Also, incorporate reading by encouraging students to write a math story problem that follows the structure of fiction stories or, for a challenge, create story problem poetry!

For example, have students write their math story problem following the fiction genre sentence frame: “Somebody … wanted … but … so … then …”

Imagine how many story problems you’ll have by the end of the year!

Head over to Jen’s blog, Runde’s Room, to download your free copy of her “Somebody Wanted But So Then” organizer poster, here.


Word Problems and Literacy

Suggestions for working with word problems and incorporating literacy:

1. Use word problems as a way to establish mnemonic imagery for a math concept.
2. Present word problems orally or audiovisually.
3. Have students write longer math stories.
4. Write word problem poems or verse.
5. Draw word problems (without text).
6. Sing word problems or write word problem music.

Gerofsky, S. (2004). A man left albuquerque heading east: Word problems as genre in mathematics education. New York, NY: Peter Lang.