Math Word Problems in first grade can be such a difficult concept to teach! But, this year I am so happy with the progress that my students are making in solving them! Here is the standard:

CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.A.1

Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.

The word problems with Common Core are so much more complex than the word problems that used to be in my first grade student's textbooks when I first started teaching. Those problems almost always the unknown at the end of a problem. Teaching a few key words was enough to tell students if they needed to add or subtract. The students understood how to come up with the end product, but the process was pretty much hit or miss.

Teaching the process of how to solve a word problem is so important from the time that students start doing word problems. We begin teaching word problems during the first month of school. I spend a few weeks with a part of my time teaching students what a number bond is and how it relates to an addition or subtraction equation. Then we start practicing using them to solve our word problems.

First, we read the problem together,

Next we identify the parts of the word problem and where they fit into the number bond.

Then we write the numbers we know into the number bond.

And write them in an equation. (we write both the addition and subtraction because both ways are correct, they only have to write the one they decide is easiest for them.)

Then they solve the equation. I teach them to draw a picture if they need help. We act a lot of these out the first few months!

Then I make them write out the answer. I am happy if they put the label but happiest if they use a complete sentence! I model writing the sentence every time, but in the beginning of the year especially, a label is good!

I have a word problem freebie in my store! Check it out by clicking the picture!

I have been working to update all of my Word Problem Packs in my TpT store! You can buy them individually, or bundled for a 20% discount.

It is going to be a busy week! Thank goodness it is cooling down! The last few weeks with no air and 90 degrees have been brutal! :)

Have a great week!

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