Solving Word Problems involving Addition and Subtraction

Introduction to solving word problems

Mathematics can be a challenging subject for students, particularly when it comes to solving word problems. However, it is an essential skill that students must learn to excel in academics and everyday life. In this blog post, we will discuss a lesson plan that can help students solve word problems involving addition and subtraction with ease.

Mental Math Practice for solving word problems

Before starting the lesson, it is essential to engage the students in some mental math practice. This will help to improve their mathematical skills and prepare them for the lesson. The teacher can ask random students some addition and subtraction questions that they can easily solve on their fingers, such as 5+3, 7-2, 4+2, etc.

Concrete Representation 

To make the concept more concrete, the teacher can gather the students around the desk and show a concrete representation. For instance, if the question is ‘Hamza has 15 apples and eats 2. How many apples does he have left?’ The teacher can show 15 pebbles to the students, which represent the 15 apples. The students can then understand that to find out how many apples are left, they need to take away 2 pebbles.

Subtraction Game

To make the lesson more interactive, the teacher can divide the class into groups of four and stack 15 tissue rolls or paper cups as shown in the image. Each group will roll the ball to knock these cups. Then use subtraction to tell the rest of the class how many cups are still standing. Whichever group knocks the most cups will win. This game will help the students to practice subtraction in a fun and engaging way.

Word Problems

After the concrete representation and the game, the teacher can write some word problems on the board or display them on a projector. For instance, ‘Alia spent Rs.10 on a pack of chips and Rs.6 on a pack of biscuits. How much did she spend in total?’ To solve this problem, the teacher can take 10 pebbles to show Rs.10 and 6 pebbles to show Rs.6. The students can then add these to find out the total money Alia spent, which is Rs.16.

Working with a Partner

Now it’s time for the students to practice word problems in their notebooks. The teacher can display the questions on the board or distribute them in a worksheet. The students can work with their partners to solve the questions.

Conclusion on solving word problems

 Solving word problems involving addition and subtraction can be challenging for students, but with the right strategies, they can master this skill. In this lesson plan, the teacher can use concrete representations, interactive games, and partner work to make the concept more accessible and engaging for the students. With regular practice, the students can develop the confidence to solve complex word problems and excel in mathematics.

Sualeha Anjum
Author: Sualeha Anjum

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