Today’s third-grade math word problems are more complicated than those of the past. Helping with homework may be a challenge that you weren’t prepared for. Even parents who were A+ math students in their own classes may struggle to explain their children’s homework in a way the child can understand. If you’re having a hard time helping your student with his or her math word problems, these tips and tricks can help. Equip yourself with the tools you need to help your child build a strong foundation for third grade and beyond.
1. Show Real-World Applications
One reason that 3rd grade math word problems are such a challenge is the fact that students don’t connect the problem to real-life situations. After all, few students have any reason to think about when two trains will meet if they leave at certain times from opposite states. So, help with this by connecting math to real-world problems.
For example, if you are at the grocery store and have a set amount to spend on produce, have your child help you figure out how much you can buy, and what your change should be. These simple everyday actions will help your child make the necessary connections to solve 3rd grade math word problems.
2. Learn to Identify the Question
The key to solving 3rd grade math word problems is to find out what, exactly, you are trying to solve. This means you need to find the question in the problem. This will guide the child’s thinking. Remind your child that the question may not come at the end of the problem, although it often does.
3. Find the Clue Words
Like most grades, 3rd grade math problems give students plenty of clue words to consider. These words can make multi-step word problems much easier to tackle because they show what the problem requires. Common clue words include:
- Adding – Total, in all, sum
- Division – Half, each, divide evenly, even
- Multiplication – Times, product, multiplied by
- Subtraction – Fewer, how much more, have left
This is not an exhaustive list, but it is a good place to start in helping your child tackle 3rd grade word problems.
4. Invest in Tablet Teaching
Today’s parents are busy. If you don’t have the time to teach your child extensively, why not use your tablet to help with 3rd grade math word problems? With a program like Thinkster Math, you can ensure that your child is engaged with the program and is getting instruction from certified teachers. This ensures that your child will excel at important math word problems in third grade.
Use these tips to help your child see his or her third grade math word problems in a new way. Then tie it all together with the help of a math tutor app and your child will be set for success.