Is it a challenge for your students to break down word problems? Do they struggle with identifying the operation, solving the problem, justifying their answer, or all of the above? This can definitely be a challenge for your students and you when this happens (and it seems to happen every year). This post will share some strategies for teaching word problems and a set of free word problems that are perfect for math intervention activities and remediation.
Strategies for Word Problem Math Intervention
Here are some of the strategies and activities that I use to support my students with word problems:
- Introduce new math problems with a context in the form of a relatable word problem
- Expose my students to a variety of word problems regularly and consistently > The free set of word problems will help with this.
- Model my thinking when reading and solving word problems
- Provide my students with a step-by-step way to work through understanding and solving a word problem > The free set of word problems will help with this.
- Get hands-on…use hands-on sorts and moveable digital activities to have my students interact with word problems > The free set of word problems will help with this.
- Teach situations and contexts and not key words when it comes to determining the operation needed. Click here to read a post about using situations and not relying on key words to solve word problems.
- Allow for opportunities for students to share and discuss word problem solving strategies
Now, let’s take a look at the free set of word problems that will give you some free math intervention activities to help your students master word problems.
About the Free Word Problems
This set of free word problems includes two different math intervention activities that focus on word problems.
- The first set of word problems help students conquer word problems by helping them break down the problem and organize their plan for solving.
- The second set of word problems is a sort where students sort word problems according to the operation needed to solve them.
The free word problems focus on basic multiplication and division math facts.
This will allow you to focus on teaching your students the strategy of breaking down a word problem (with the help of a graphic organizer) without being bogged down by difficult math concepts.
Math Intervention Word Problems – Graphic Organizer Activity
The first set of word problems includes 10 multiplication and division word problems with a graphic organizer. The organizer helps students break down the steps of solving the word problem.
The graphic organizer for each problem asks the students to:
- Retell the problem
- Select the operation and reason for selecting that operation
- Solve the problem
- Defend why the answer makes sense
- Prove the answer
I have also included the word problems in a copy friendly version with 8 word problems on a page and blank templates of the graphic organizer. You can use laminated copies of the blank template and have students write on them with dry erase markers. This makes it super easy to use during stations and guided math groups.
Note: It can be time-consuming to complete all parts of the graphic organizer each time if used regularly. Feel free to have students only complete specific sections as needed. You could even start with just having them retell the problem, select the operation, and then solve the problem. Then you can move to the other sections later on. Alternatively, you can skip the retelling and focus on the defending and proving sections.
Math Intervention Word Problems – Sort Activity
Word problems are a difficult math skill to make hands-on but anytime I can make something hands-on, the better my students do.
The second set of word problems included in this free resource are for a sort activity where the students sort six word problems by operation (multiplication or division).
You can use this to focus just on understanding the problems and determining the operation or you can take it a step further and have the students solve the problems after sorting.
If you want to assign this as a digital math activity, both sets of word problems (the 10 graphic organizer word problems and the word problem sorts) are included in digital format on Google Slides.
For the graphic organizer word problems, students will complete their responses in the provided text boxes on each slide and then drag and drop the operation needed to solve the problem.
For the word problem sorts, students will drag and drop the problems to columns labeled “multiplication” or “division” to sort by operation.
Get the FREE Word Problems Here!
In the download, you will find a PDF containing the printable version. Digital access links are on page #4 of the PDF. To get this free Word Problem Intervention resource, simply enter your email address in the box below. You’ll be subscribed to a special 4-day email sequence where you’ll receive the free intervention word problems, word problems organizer mats, tips for teaching word problems, and more!
Want more math word problem resources for 4-5 grades?
If these word problem activities are helpful to your students and you want more to use throughout the year for a variety of math skills and operations, including decimals and fractions, check out the full grade level bundles below!