Monday, June 20, 2011

Ideas for Word Problems

I make all our math worksheets by hand. We print so many worksheets for other subjects that I rather just do the math ones myself to avoid the extra time on the computer. I also prefer making my own over using ready-made worksheets so that I can add lots of complex word problems.

I write the word problems around familiar situations for my son. For instance, he makes and sells jewelry, so I can use that. His dad is a builder, so my son has already had real life experience in construction. I always take him with me to the market, so we use that too. Here is an example of the kind of word problems we're doing in 3rd grade:

If you have $700 to go on a week-long trip, and stay at a hotel that charges you $50 per night, $5 for breakfast, $10 for lunch and $15 for dinner, how much money will you have left over for day trips?

If you want to do the following day trips, how much more money will you need?

visit to the museum - $20
visit to the water park - $45
visit to the amusement park - $25

So, first he has to figure out how much his hotel & food expenses will be by adding and multiplying. Next, he has to figure out how much money he has left over by subtracting. Then, he has to add up the day trips and subtract their total cost by what he has left over from his initial $700 budget.

I might take it a step further and ask him how many pairs of $5 earrings he would have to sell to make the difference, so he would have to divide the difference by 5.

Here´s another one with decimals:

Let´s go to the market and buy two pounds of onion, four pounds of tomatoes, one pound of potatoes, one loaf of bread and three pounds of ground beef. How much money will we need? (use the prices below)

Tomatoes - $0.90 per pound
Bread - $4.50 per loaf
Onions - $1.25 per pound
Potatoes - $2.10 per pound

So, first he multiplies the price of each item by the quantity we need. Then he adds the sub-totals to get his total expenditure.

We do one worksheet a day. When the concepts are new, we work through them together. If they are reviews of lessons we already did together, he can do them alone.

No comments:

Post a Comment