Do you want a FREE sample of the resource that I use to teach Addition & Subtraction Word Problems by Problem Type?
Models are the visual ways problems are represented.
Strategies are the ways a student solves a problem, putting together and taking apart the numbers.
My students had been struggling with how to solve addition and subtraction word problems for what seemed like forever.
They could underline the question and they could find the numbers.
It’s a shortcut that leads to breakdowns in mathematical thinking.
I talk more in depth about why it doesn’t work in The Problem with Using Keywords to Solve Word Problems.
You’ll see how I sometimes gave students copies of the model that they could glue into their notebook and sometimes students drew their own model.
They need to be responsible for choosing what works best for them. Teach the strategies first through the use of math fact practice, before applying it to word problems so that students understand the strategies and can quickly choose one to use. Once students have some fluency in a few strategies, have them choose strategies that work for different problems.
Our students need even more practice with those types of problems because the relationship of the numbers is more abstract.
I’m going to leave that for another blog post, though.