Close reading is all the rage in ELA classrooms, but it can definitely work in math, too. Students often struggle with word problems because they don't fully understand what the problem is telling them or asking them to do. By using close reading in math, you can help eliminate some of this struggle. Keep reading to read how I implement close reading with tricky word ... Read More

## Free Word Problem of the Day Starter Pack

Confession: It was my first year teaching and one month before the state test, I realized that I had failed to expose my students to enough word problems for them to be successful and confident with them. I was so caught up in the pacing guide and using the math textbook that I failed to make the math real world and situational for my students. Big mistake on my part and ... Read More

## Explaining Answers in Math: How to Help Your Students Explain Their Thinking

Have you ever asked a student to explain his or her answer in math and get a blank look, a quick change in answer, or the response, "I just did it in my head"? To be honest, each year my students pretty much start the school year this way. But, through purposeful instruction, I am able to get even those students with blank looks explaining their answers in complete ... Read More

## 8 Ways to Help Students Be Successful with Word Problems in Upper Elementary

Word problems can be really difficult for upper elementary students. The complexity of the word problems increase, the length of the problems themselves increase, the numbers are larger and more abstract, and often key words just don't work. Today I want to share with you eight ways to help students who struggle with word problems in upper elementary grades. 1. ... Read More

## 10 Ways to Get Students Writing in Math

Writing in math is more common and important in the elementary years than ever before. When I was in school, I barely remember writing more than a sentence in math class. Now, students are required and expected to write several sentences and even paragraphs explaining their math and justifying their answer. This can definitely be tricky as many students still think ... Read More

## Solving Word Problems Without Relying on Key Words

One of the toughest things about teaching fifth grade is definitely the word problems. By fifth grade, a lot of students have become so dependent on using key words that they no longer even read for meaning when they're solving word problems. However, as fifth grade teachers know, key words only take the students so far. I have read many articles and blog posts that are ... Read More

## Teaching Students How to Justify Answers in Math

Teaching students to justify their answer in math can be difficult, but thankfully it doesn't have to be. I want to share with you some ideas for teaching students how to justify answers in math, as well as some of my favorite resources for providing much needed practice with math tasks and word problems. 1. Create an anchor chart with clear examples and your ... Read More

## Solving Multi-Part Word Problems {Freebie Printable Chart}

Solving multi-part math constructed response tasks is such a tricky skill for my students. Not only is the actual solving the problems tricky, but my students also struggle with organizing their responses and their work. I have spent a lot of time this past school year thinking of how to combat that and help scaffold my students. This post sums up what I have come up ... Read More

## Constructed Response Freebie {Math is Real Life}

For this month's Math is Real Life, I am writing about a few of our recent trips to the lake. On the way back from the lake, my mom texted me and asked me how much gas we used on one trip. After telling her about 1/4 of a tank and that the tank held 32 gallons, I realized this was a good example of using math in real life. Fast forward to the next trip to the lake when we ... Read More

## Differentiated Fraction Tasks {And FREEBIE Computation Challenge}

If any skill will be the death of me, it is definitely Fractions! They are so hard for 5th graders to wrap their heads around. And the standards for 5th grade? Gah, I remember learning some of these standards in middle school! But, unfortunately, they must be taught. In order to make Fractions a bit more tolerable, I created Fraction Tasks and Challenges ... Read More

## Show the LOVE with Word Problems!

Word problems were always a struggle for my students. It was like pulling teeth to get them to write more than just the answer. Almost three years ago, I created this acronym to help my students think through, represent problems, and show all of the work when they are solving word problems. The students love it, and I never have any problems getting the students to show ... Read More

## Using Word Problems in Interactive Math Notebooks (Regularly Incorporate Word Problems Into Your Math Instruction)

Can we be real about something for a minute? My first year teaching, I rarely did word problems. As a first year teacher, I wanted my students to succeed in math. But, I didn't really feel confident about what to do when they struggled with a problem. So, yes, we did word problems, but they were not a huge or integral part of my daily instruction. Thankfully, for my ... Read More