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Math word problem troubles.... 3rd grade...


robsiew
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My dd8 struggles a bit with word problems. Her main problem is she seems to want to answer her own question, not what is being asked! :001_huh: She'll just put the answer to the question she thinks is being asked. When we go over it she'll say, "Oh, I thought they meant...."

 

Well, fine for once in a while, but this happens on probably 1/2 of the 6 or so word problems she would do on a daily/weekly basis.

 

She is not a child who likes to be told how to do things! When I go over the missed problems with her she is usually able to figure it out, but she will still insist that it is "her way!" I practically have to pound into her that THAT IS NOT WHAT IS BEING ASKED!!!!

 

Anybody have experience with a child like this and some ways to help her to actually read and answer the question that is asked? (By the way, this is not just a math issue it happens in "life" as well! This is just one area that it shows up in her schooling.) I have had her sit with me and do them with me, she seems to do better that way, but I'm trying to work her toward independence. We are required to test in our state and this year her entire standardized test is to be read on her own. I want to give her some good practice having to read something and follow the directions before we get to the test in the spring. :001_smile:

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I have had her sit with me and do them with me, she seems to do better that way, but I'm trying to work her toward independence. We are required to test in our state and this year her entire standardized test is to be read on her own. I want to give her some good practice having to read something and follow the directions before we get to the test in the spring. :001_smile:

 

I have a couple of thoughts. One, she may not be really ready to fly the nest on word problems yet. Just keep working with her. Train her. Don't feed her answers but no need to push her out of the nest yet - you have all year to practice.

 

If it were my child I would have her practice telling you back directions for everything - when you tell her to go grab library books, do her math, take a bath - whatever. I would sweetly ask her, "Now, tell me back what I just asked you to do." gently repeat the directions if she gets it wrong or inserts her own design - and then have her repeat them back to you. I would do it every time for a while until she gets it.

 

 

 

My dd8 struggles a bit with word problems. Her main problem is she seems to want to answer her own question, not what is being asked! :001_huh: She'll just put the answer to the question she thinks is being asked. When we go over it she'll say, "Oh, I thought they meant...."

 

Well, fine for once in a while, but this happens on probably 1/2 of the 6 or so word problems she would do on a daily/weekly basis.

 

She is not a child who likes to be told how to do things! When I go over the missed problems with her she is usually able to figure it out, but she will still insist that it is "her way!" I practically have to pound into her that THAT IS NOT WHAT IS BEING ASKED!!!!

 

Anybody have experience with a child like this and some ways to help her to actually read and answer the question that is asked? (By the way, this is not just a math issue it happens in "life" as well! This is just one area that it shows up in her schooling.)

 

This seems like an attitude issue that you may want to address in addition to the math issue. Math is a symptom, not the root of this one I would guess. Hang in there mom -you rock and .... 8 is interesting!!!

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I dealt with this issue and one of the biggest helps I found was Math Detective by the Critical Thinking Co.

 

It breaks down each problem into parts and asks the child to fill in those parts, which forces them to actually read the question. Then it walks them through the step by step of solving the word problem.

 

It really helped my dd, who also enjoyed to plug in numbers how she thought they should work, not necessarily what the question was asking. :glare:

 

It's fairly inexpensive and we had great success with it. Dd actually enjoyed working through the workbook. :)

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Thanks Ladies. Yes, it is a personality issue. We are dealing with this on many levels. Math is the one academic area though where I can see this is affecting her work.

 

The Math Detective looks good! I will probably pick that up for her. I think I'll also pull her back with me for awhile on the word problems in her math. This may help to teach her to be sure to read everything and then we don't have to redo so many problems. She is a younger 3rd grader, so she just might not be mature enough for the independence yet. Thanks for your help!:001_smile:

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I also have one like this. :banghead:

 

We have also used Math Detective - it hasn't cured her, but I do think it helped improve things.

 

She also refuses to check her work. I always used to make her correct any problems she got wrong. Sometimes she'd get the same problem back 5 times, because she would refuse to actually think through the problem again to find out where she'd gone astray - she'd just change a number and hope for the best. :glare:

 

This year I've started giving her math tests. She bombed her first one (on topics she thought were 'easy and babyish'), completely because she made careless errors and didn't check her work - and on one word problem she decided to do it 'her way' - which in this case meant do the problem then estimate the answer you got, rather than estimate first, do the problem, then check against the estimate, which would've caught her mistake (which was actually a copying problem, not a math problem). That D really woke her up - maybe I should've done that sooner! While she doesn't care about math, she doesn't like bad grades!

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We bought this book http://www.amazon.com/8-Step-Model-Drawing-Singapores-Problem-Solving/dp/1884548954/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1288904688&sr=1-1

 

First they write the answer with a fill in the blank:

Mom bought ___ boxes of cereal. Then when they are done, they fill in the blank, make sure that is what they determined properly and that it makes sense. This book has helped tremendously with my dd10 and word problems. It hasn't been the end-all cure, but it sure has made her grow in leaps and bounds! I recommend it highly.

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