If you have ever had a student in your life who didn’t love math, then you have already heard “why do we need this, anyway?” Math often seems disconnected from day-to-day life, and as the problems get harder, students have more and more trouble figuring out why they need to learn these concepts. Word problems have the potential to answer this question in the perfect way.
Show Real-World Applications to Math Concepts
One of the main reasons that word problems are so vital to students learning math is the way they show how math concepts apply to real-world situations. Everything from measuring for a construction project to planning treats for a party can be used as a problem. As a result, using world problems shows the students why they will need the concepts being taught in math class. This helps connect the dots between solving the problem and using the concept in a real-world application.
Word Problems Require Higher Order Thinking
Word problems require more than simply looking at numbers and symbols and figuring the solution. To solve a word problem, the students must be able to read the problem, pull the pertinent information out of the problem, solve the math equation and make sure the answer makes sense in the context of the problem. This requires higher order thinking than simply solving an equation.
Word Problems Connect Several Areas of Math Instruction
A word problem can bring together many different concepts in math into one problem. Algebra, basic number sense, and geometry can all be used in one word problem. In this way, these problems help prove that a student has achieved total mastery of the subject.
Word Problems Encourage Creativity in Math
Math can be a very uncreative subject. Your child sees 3+2 and simply knows that the answer is 5. Word problems require children to break out of the rut of simple rote repetition to get creative about what they are learning. They must think visually and logically about the problem they are reading in order to find the solution.
Word Problems Allow Teachers to Evaluate Understanding
Finally, word problems are an important assessment tool for teachers because they show a true understanding of the math concepts being taught. When a student can solve a word problem, it shows that the student has reached the right level of understanding the teacher wants.
With all of that said, word problems are challenging to many kids, even those who seem to understand math concepts well. If your child appears to be struggling with these concepts, consider investing in tutoring through Thinkster. With the help of iPad based tutoring and the right instruction from teachers when it is needed, your child can excel in word problems and other important math concepts.
For examples and help on word problems, you can visit this link.