Money word problems are a common type found in second grade math. When your child is stumped, how can you help? One of the easiest ways to solve 2nd grade money word problems is to look for keywords.
Common Keywords for Money Word Problems
Keywords are clue words that tell the student what operation they should do. Helping your second grader identify these keywords will make 2nd grade money word problems much easier to tackle. Here are some common keywords and what they typically mean:
- Total – If the word problem says, “How many total dollars did they earn?” then the student should add the values.
- In all – “How many dollars did he have in all?” means to add.
- Together/altogether – “How many cents did they have altogether?” Again, this means to add.
- And – “She had five and ten dollars. How many dollars did she have?” This one also means add, but it is trickier, because the word “and” can be used in different situations as well.
- Difference – “If John had $12 and Cathy had $9, what is the difference?” This indicates subtraction.
- Less than – “I have $8.25 less than $10. How much money do I have?” This also indicates subtractions.
- How many more – “If Jeremy has $10 and Suzanne has $5, how many more dollars does Jeremy have?” This is another clue for subtraction.
- Change – Problems that ask the student to find the amount of change are subtraction problems.
- Left over – Similar to change, problems that ask how much money is left over are subtraction problems.
Using Clue Words
How can you use the idea of clue words to help your child with 2nd grade money word problems? Teach your child to read the problem and identify these keywords. She should circle or underline the keyword. Then, have her fill in the numbers. For a subtraction problem, the larger number should be placed on the top of the subtraction problem. For addition, the order does not matter. Once she knows the numbers and the operation, your child should have an easier time solving a problem.
If your child continues to struggle with money word problems, further help may be needed. Instead of rushing off to a tutoring center, why not invest in iPad-based tutoring program? This will give your child the chance to practice 2nd grade money word problems at home, and give you a way to track progress.
Thinkster Math is a program designed by teachers that offers individualized instruction. It can help you monitor your child’s progress as you help him with 2nd grade money word problems. Your child will want to play with this fun and engaging app, even if he is not excited about math. With the help of Thinkster Math, money word problems can become as simple as 2 + 2!