Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Writing a Situational Problem - Turn ANY Word problem Into a Situational Problem!


Turn any math problem into a situational problem.
Free Printable Situational Problem Writer below!

Feel free to use this infographic anywhere with credit given to MessyBeautifulFun.com

If you're a parent homeschooling in Quebec then you have no doubt encountered the dreaded foe that is SITUATIONAL MATH PROBLEMS!

But no need to fret - they're really not so bad! In fact, you can take any problem from your child's math book or online and turn it into a situational problem. Following the steps above in the infographic, you can see how simple this really is.

Before you jump into writing it, there are a few things you should know.

  • Make it a Story: The problems included should all be put together in a story problem format. It doesn't have to be complicated though. If you look at the above example in the infographic, nothing is really broken down. This is supposed to feel like a real-life problem so nothing is written down in steps.
  • Kids Should Take Notes: The first few times they will need help with this! Help them go through the problem and write down everything they know from it below in the "What I Know" box (if you're not using the printable, just draw a box and write "What I Know" beneath the problem.
  • Kids Should Write the Steps: In another box, write "What I Need to Do" or "Steps to Take". Here, kids should write down what they will do to solve the problem in short notes. For example, if they need to add the two prices together they can write "add the prices to figure total" or something age-appropriate.
  • Show Your Work: We all remember this one from school! Show your work. The great thing about situational problems is that kids can use almost any method to get their solution - any method that makes mathematical sense, of course! Help them through this area the first few times too if they're not used to showing work on paper. You may even wish to help younger kids write it down.
  • Show Your Solution: Younger kids can just write a one or two-sentence answer. For kids in grades 3 and above, you may wish to have them organize their information into a chart or graph, or draw a map if you're working with something like area and perimeter. Again, you can help them out the first few times, showing them how to use a ruler to draw a neat graph/outline.
  • Review! Review the problem with your child. Ask them if they thought it was difficult or not, if they liked solving it, if there was another way they could have solved it...try to figure out how you should frame and write the next one for them. Should it be more difficult or do you need to take  step back? 
Finally, you'll find the free printable below. Alternatively, you could just download this and make one yourself on paper with a pencil or markers (to make it colorful!).
This is a direct link to the Google Drive file. No signups necessary.

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