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Word Problems

Many students who are very good at executing math problems struggle with word problems.

Word problems are complicated for several reasons:

  • Students need to be able to read.
  • Students must be able to pull out the necessary information (and set aside unnecessary information).
  • Students must be able to figure out what operations to execute.
  • Students must figure out what order to execute the operations in.
  • Finally, students must be able to get to the final answer that the question asks for (many students do one or two steps, but do not manage to do the final step of a word problem; other students do all of the steps but then write down what they consider the final answer, rather than the answer that the question asks for).

Many of the skill-based lessons (e.g., those for division or multiplication) contain single operation word problem worksheets.  Single operation word problems help students get the feel of different types of word problems.  By doing single operations word problem worksheets, students can start to learn the different words that signal different types of problems and learn to recognize the types of word problems that ask for specific operations (e.g., word problems that ask for totals are usually addition problems).

The following mixed operation word problems sheets help students figure out what operation(s) they need to do to find the answer to a word problem.  The worksheets below help students practice the skills of finding necessary information and deciding the the appropriate operation.