Crafting Story Problems (Day 1)

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SWABT write word problems for each operation using key words and important information.

Big Idea

If students can write a word problem, they can break a word problem apart.


10 minutes

I was working last night and trying to think of some word problems for you guys to solve and I got really stuck. Then I remembered how great you all are at problem solving, and so today you’re going to help your classmates become strong problem solvers.

Now who can tell me what types of things word problems usually have? What about things that give us trouble on word problems?

Here we stop to talk about extra information, reading and interpreting graphs, thermometers and clocks and what things we look for in problems to help us solve.

Guided Practice

5 minutes

Now what type of problem should I write? (I allow the student to choose the operation). And what kind of problem can I make?

I pull sticks to engage as many students as possible, not just my eager students. I allow students to help me decide what we should put into our problem and then how we are going to solve it. If students take part in the process of writing problems then I believe they become stronger problem solvers because they know what to look for. 

Independent Work

25 minutes

Students will return to their seats and create problems involving multiplication, division, addition and subtraction. We will be using these problems all week as problem solving stations so that students see a variety of words, problems and operations. I find that students are much more thoughtful with their questions when they know their team mates will be solving them. 


5 minutes

Great work today! I am so impressed with the way you guys are using extra information, key words and trying to trick us all up with your problems! I know that we will all get great practice this week working on what you’ve written for us.