Mathematics Report Roundup

Mathematics

By Sarah D. Sparks — September 12, 2017 1 min read

Helping students to categorize different types of word problems can help elementary-age students tackle a common challenge in math class, according to a new analysis of 21 studies in the journal Review of Educational Research.

“Problem-solving” in math—also known as story or word problems—involves drawing information from text rather than mathematical notations, and it is considered one of the more difficult skills for students to master.

Analyzing studies of more than 3,400 elementary students, researchers found students who were taught to identify the underlying category of a word problem, write its corresponding algebraic equation, identify the solution to the equation, and then check whether the solution is “reasonable” in the story’s context improved on story problems on average half of a standard deviation, which is considered a significant effect.

A version of this article appeared in the September 13, 2017 edition of Education Week as Mathematics

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