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Video:Tips for Creating 4th Grade Level Word Problems

with Scott

Word problems help develop different skills sets for young math students. Learn how to create fourth grade level word problems to help your child understand math better.See Transcript

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Transcript:Tips for Creating 4th Grade Level Word Problems

Hi, I’m Scott for About.com, today I have a few tips for you on how to create word problems from Math.About.com. Word problems are a great way to teach children how the math they are learning in school applies to everyday practical situations. More specifically, word problems show students that math is not just about dry number calculations, but about real life problems. Word problems or story problems help children develop critical thinking skills.

Review Basic Concepts in the Word Problems

> Tip 1: Start by becoming familiar with the general concepts your child is learning in math. Students in the fourth grade should be learning how to understand basic patterns and algebra, data management and probability, number concepts and basic geometry concepts and types of measurement. For an overview of fourth grade math skills, go to: Math.About.com.

Word Problems Should Relate to the Student's Life

Tip 2: Once you’ve decided the type of word problem you’re going to create, relate the problem to a real-life situation. For example, Children in the 4th grade should be able to understand basic patterns and algebra, data management and probability, number concepts and basic geometry concepts and types of measurement. Fourth grade word problems should test these specific skills, grounding abstract math concepts in practical situations that third graders can relate to such as classroom or play situations. When creating word problems for fourth graders, use people, objects, places, or concepts that they are familiar with. In the following word problem, familiar every circumstances such as preparing to go to school help the student relate to abstract fourth grade number concepts.Here is a sample problem: Kerri has to be to school by 8:30. It takes her 5 minutes to brush her teeth, 10 minutes to shower, 20 minutes to dry her hair, 10 minutes to eat breakfast and 25 minutes to walk to school. What time will she need to get up?

Create a Strategy to Solve the Word Problem

Tip 3: Math is all about problem solving. One of the best ways to help children learn math is to present them with a problem in which they have to devise their own strategies to find the solution(s). There is usually more than 1 way to solve many math problems, so try to devise a problem that can be solved in two or more different ways using math concepts familiar to the child. Here is the sample problem: You and two friends are ready to share your Birthday cake. Just before you cut the cake, a 4th friend comes to join you. Show and explain what you will do.Here, the question can solved using the concept of fractions. At first, the child must cut the cake into thirds (as there were three total students). But in the end there were four total students so they must cut it into fourths.The answer could be arrived at by using geometry concepts just as well. Since in the end there were four students, you could cut the cake in two half circles, then cut each half circle into quarter circles to get four equal pieces.

Show How the Math Problem is Solved

Tip 4: Have the students justify their solutions. You can find word problem worksheets according to each grade on Math.About.com along with more practical problem solving tips. Thank you for watching. For more information, visit: Math.About.com
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