Not long ago, I received a review from a teacher on my word problems game who said the game took “too long.” They were difficult for students! I get that. Not only is it frustrating for the teacher, but it’s especially frustrating for the students.
It doesn’t change the fact that word problems are a big part of our curriculum, and we still need to practice them. Although you can’t use these game cards in the same way that you can use the other Simply STEAM math games, you can benefit from these cards by using them in different ways.
In this post, I’ll show you how to get the most from these game cards with these different strategies.
If you’re not familiar with these games, make sure you read this post that explains what they are and how to play.
Strategy #1: Word Problems BONUS Cards
Here’s how you do it…
Place a star at the top of each card. Next, take two or three cards and mix them with the other deck of cards in each Simply STEAM math game (like these free math fact games). Now students will recognize these cards as bonus cards when they see the star. This will notify them that these cards are extra challenging and if they answer correctly, they will earn double points!
Now that these word problems have just been sprinkled throughout each game, they’ll have multiple opportunities to practice solving two-step word problems. This will also cut down on the time it takes to solve all 40 two-step word problems.
Wanna try some story problems for free? Click here!
Strategy #2: Word Problem of the Day
Another way you can use these cards is to have a Problem of the Day. Display one card first thing in the morning, and give students time throughout the day to solve that problem. If you have stickers, points, or tickets, you can give students the amount (indicated on the card) and enter them in for a drawing.
You will need prizes for this. I recommend having extra pencils, math games, or STEM bags put together for this. I put together a list of our favorite rewards in this post.
You could also use tickets for the Surprise Box for this. Learn more about how to use our Surprise Box in this post.
Strategy #3: Marble Jar for Word Problems
Have students answer two or three questions. If students can prove their answers and explain to the class how they solved the problem, then they get to add marbles to the jar. This is great for creating math discourse and motivates the students to write their thinking.
Of course, give students a reward once they meet the class goal so they have an incentive for working hard. We set our class goal to 20 and celebrated with a popcorn party!
Word problems are tricky for students because they are using several skills. They must decode the text, comprehend, and apply math strategies. There’s a lot going on, and this requires consistent practice. I love using these strategies for practicing word problems. What’s your favorite?
There are so many benefits to playing math games in your classroom. If you want to read a little more about them, check out my post here!