Ways to Solve a Problem

Contributor: Sharon Hamilton. Lesson ID: 10762

Are math problems a problem for you? Subtract the stress and add to your skills using an online game and a strategic worksheet to learn the different ways to solve just about any simple math problem!

categories

Elementary

subject
Math
learning style
Visual
personality style
Beaver, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

There is More Than One Way to Solve Most Problems

You and your friends shared 27 pieces of candy. If each person had 9 pieces of candy, how many friends shared the candy in all? By the way, it was nice of you to share!

Consider the following questions when solving word problems:

  • What do you want to find?
    • The total number of friends
  • What information do you know from reading the problem?
    • There are 27 pieces of candy.
    • Each person has 9 pieces.
  • What could you do?
    • You could draw a picture, use a diagram, write a number sentence, use base ten blocks, or counters.
  • What math operation did you use?
    • You could have used multiplication, addition, subtraction, or division!
  • What is the answer?
    • There were 3 people total.
  • How do you know your answer makes sense?
    • Is your answer reasonable?
    • Did you check your work to be sure you were correct?

Wait! What do you mean I could use any math operation to solve the problem?

Division 27 ÷ 9 = 3 Well, that will definitely work! If you divide 27 into 9 equal groups, you will get 3.


Multiplication This would look like a missing factor problem: ____ x 9 = 27. Refer to the table below:

# of people Pieces of candy per person Total pieces of candy
? (3) 9 27

 

Addition Count by 9s or use repeated addition until you reach 27: 9 + 9 + 9 = 27


Subtraction 27 - 9 = 18 - 9 = 9 - 9 = 0. Subtract 9 from 27 until you get to zero. That took 3 9s.

There are many strategies you can use to solve a problem. Try different ways, but be sure to use the strategy that works best for YOU.

  • Number Line
  • Array
  • Equal Groups
  • Algorithm
  • Table
  • Tally Marks

Elephango's Philosophy

We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.