Online Workshop: Teaching Word Problems in Elementary Math


Every math educator appreciates the difficulty of teaching word problems. Your students know the math – why can’t they use it in context?

In this workshop, you’ll learn the strategies and process to be successfully teach word problems.  And you’ll use the digital tools that will help you bring hands-on learning experiences to your classroom.

Enrollment in this workshop includes all the print and digital resources you’ll need to help your students to solve the most challenging word problems.

This is a 3-part online workshop, conducted in real-time with a live facilitator.

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Why Teaching Word Problems Is So Important in Elementary School

Teaching word problems is a critical skill for every elementary math student. Word problems allow students to apply what they learn in class to the real world.

And if that weren’t enough, state tests are filled with word problems. If students learn the standards, but can’t make sense of word problems, they won’t pass these tests.

In this session, you’ll learn problem-solving strategies that can be applied across standards and grades levels. You’ll even be able to target the elusive math practice standards, like MP1 (Make sense of problems), MP2 (Reason abstractly and quantitatively), and MP3 (Construct viable arguments).

Besides the academic benefits, good word problems are fun and interactive. You’ll challenge your students to learn creatively and collaboratively, whether you are teaching online or in-person.

How to Teach Word Problems in Elementary School

with the polya process, students choose a strategy for solving word problemsYou’ve taught them all the tricks, from CUBES to keywords, but they still struggle with word problems. Sound familiar?

Your elementary learners need more than just tricks. Sure, they need a step-by-step process to tackle tough word problems. But they also need to think about what’s happening in each story. And to translate from stories to mathematical problems.

In this workshop, you’ll learn both the process and strategies that make teaching word problems accessible to anyone.

Process: The four-step Polya process (Understand, Plan, Solve, Reflect) helps students make sense of problems and break problem-solving into actionable steps.

Strategies:  Strategies like Work BackwardDraw a Picture, and Write an Equation, help students with formulation — the process of translating from stories to problems they can solve with the math they already know.

For more on teaching word problems with the Polya process, read this blog post.

What Will the Workshop Look Like?

The workshop is divided into three parts: Do the MathExplore the Strategies, and Teach the Lesson

In Session 1, Do the Math, you’ll approach word problems from the student perspective. We’ll use the Polya Process and digital tools to solve fun and engaging word problems.

In Session 2, Explore the Strategies, we’ll break down the elements of the Polya Process and how to apply problem-solving strategies to your grade level content.

By Session 3, Teach the Lesson, we’ll focus on best practices for planning and facilitating problem-based lessons in your live or online classroom. You’ll be ready to set up small group discussions and use tools like Google Slides to create interactive digital assignments. (Registration includes access to all digital resources and templates used in the session). 

About the Presenter

Jeff Lisciandrello is the founder of Room to Discover and an educational consultant specializing in student-centered learning practicesJeff Lisciandrello is a curriculum specialist and educational technology consultant specializing in student- centered instruction. He has over 15 years experience as a classroom teacher and instructional coach. In Jeff’s workshops, you won’t just hear about differentiation and inquiry-based learning: You’ll experience them first-hand. Find him on Twitter @EdTechJeff


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