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North Carolina math instruction can be challenging. Students are required to use multiple steps to solve problems. Below are a few strategies we teach students to help them break the problem solving into manageable pieces. 

 


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DRAW A PICTURE

Draw a picture to help you solve the problem.


MAKE A CHART OR TABLE

Recording information in a chart, table, or graph may help you solve the problem.

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ESTIMATION

Do you need an exact answer or an estimate? If you need an estimate, use the information from the word problem and information in your head to make an informal estimate.


LOOK FOR A PATTERN

Looking for a pattern may help you solve the problem. Look for number patterns which may repeat or follow a rule.


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MULTIPLE STEP PROBLEMS

Many problems require you to complete more than one operation in order to find the solution. Read the problem carefully and decide which operation to complete first.


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WORK BACKWARDS

To solve some problems, you may need to undo the key actions in the problem.


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USE DATA FROM A CHART

Charts, graphs, and tables provide valuable information. Be sure to look at the key if one is available.


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RECORD IMPORTANT INFORMATION

 Look for key words in the problem to give you a clue. Should you use mental math, paper and pencil, or a calculator.


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ACT IT OUT

Act out a word problem by using people, counters, post-its notes, or torn pieces of paper to represent the information in the problem. By acting it out, you can manipulate the information in the problem and visually see the answer.