Hoelldobler, Babette
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 Math Story Problem Examples
 Sherwood Forest Elementary School
 Math Story Problem Examples

Dear Families,
In talking with a parent, a suggestion was made to give some examples of math story problems that you could use for practice at home with your student. The numbers and names could be changed to make new problems of the same type. So, listed below are some examples of problem types your child will have this year. They get progressively more difficult in each section. The * indicates the type of problems we’ve done as of November in class. I have also included a list of strategies for problem solving used in the classroom. Remember, your child is expected to write the number sentence and strategy for story problems. If you have any questions, please let me know. Thanks,
Mrs. Hoelldobler
Joining problems:
* Jill has 5 marbles. She gets 7 more from Toby for her birthday. How many marbles does Jill have altogether?
* Jill has 5 marbles. How many more marbles does she need to have 12 marbles altogether?
Jill had some marbles. Toby gave her 5 more marbles. Now she has 12 marbles. How many marbles did Jill have to start with?
PartPartWhole problems:
* Jill has 5 red marbles and 7 blue marbles. How many marbles does she have?
* Jill has 12 marbles. 5 are red & the rest are blue. How many blue marbles does Jill have?
Separate problems:
* Jill had 12 marbles. She gave 5 to Toby. How many marbles does Jill have left?
Jill had 12 marbles. She gave some to Toby. Now she has 5 marbles left. How many marbles did Jill give to Toby?
Jill had some marbles. She gave 5 to Toby. Now she has 7 marbles left. How many marbles did Jill have to start with?
Comparing problems:
* Jill has 12 marbles. Toby has 5 marbles. How many more marbles does Jill have than Toby?
* Jill has 12 marbles. Toby has 5 marbles. How many fewer marbles does Toby have than Jill?
Toby has 5 marbles. Jill has 7 more marbles than Toby. How many marbles does Jill have?
Jill has 12 marbles. She has 5 more marbles than Toby. How many marbles does Toby have?
Problem Solving Strategies Discussed and Used in the Classroom
 Count all
 Count on from _____ to _____
 Think addition to help you subtract
 Think doubles
 Think doubles plus 1 or plus 2
 Think doubles minus 1 or minus 2
 Make a ten
 Compose a number
 Decompose a number
 Make an easier equation
 Add to the tens or the ones place
 Trial and error/guess and check
So far this year we have used the first 6 strategies and are working toward the others. Along with thinking about the strategies, we also talk about how they knew what to do – add or subtract, what in the story told them to do that, and we underline those words in the problem.
Another area we work on is the number sentence used to match the work they did to figure out the problem and making sure the answer is noted. For example: If your student counted on to solve this problem:
John had 5 apples. He needs 8 to make a pie. How many more apples does John need to make his pie?
He/she may write this number sentence:
5 + 3 = 8
While this number sentence works fine, it does not end in the correct answer. He doesn’t need 8 more, he needs 3 more. So, I teach the kids to put a box around the missing addend that they found.
I’m sure all this is now just as clear as mud! But, the kids are working hard and we are making progress! And again, if you have questions, let me know.