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Alternative Word Problems at Smartick

As we explained in a previous post, improving reading comprehension has a positive effect on academic performance. At Smartick, we work with all types of word problems, which we introduce during the final five minutes of each daily session. Among them, there are some dedicated to the resolution of problems using the strategies and algorithms learned and others whose objective is to improve comprehension. In the latter, we can find data that doesn’t apply to the solution of the problem, questions about the absence of certain data, or questions with non-numerical answers.

We’re going to take a look at some examples.

Word Problems with a qualitative answer:

word problems

Here we are presented with two pieces of numerical data that provide the information necessary to work out the number of orders made in each of the two shops. However, it’s not actually necessary to perform any mathematical operation in order to answer the question. The only thing we need to understand is that Alexander’s shop needs more orders to match Daniel’s. In short, Alexander’s shop receives fewer orders than Daniel’s. All we need to do is interpret the solutions and select “Alexander’s shop does not receive more orders than Daniel’s shop”.

Word Problems in which the answer is given and the question is asked:

word problems

In this case, the problem provides the solution and asks you to choose which question is correct from among several options. The last of the options is not related to the numerical data shown in the statement. The other three are questions that are answered by the numerical data or by performing mathematical operations using them. However, only one of them has the solution given as an answer. Only the option “How many designs do they have to choose from in total, between those proposed by Grace and those proposed by Catherine?” can be answered with “They have 13 designs to choose from in total”.

Word Problems which ask whether there is sufficient data to solve them:

word problems

These problems are responded to with either an affirmation or a denial. In this example, the problem offers several pieces of numerical data, but it’s not necessary to operate with them. With the data we are given, we cannot work out how many baskets Madison sold on Mother’s Day. We don’t have enough data to solve the problem. In other cases, there will be enough data, and selecting the correct answer will prompt the student to solve the problem.

Word Problems that ask whether there is any missing or extra data:

word problems

The statement offers two sets of data and comparison problem. The only data we do not have is the number of sweets that Joseph has. The statement asks how many candies Marina has, and that data is the first one that appears when we read it. Consequently, the numerical data “Joseph has 15 candies more than her” is enough to solve the problem.

There are more different types of alternative problems in Smartick. This post aims to give some examples and explain how to work on reading comprehension and mathematical statements with different exercises. These types of activities make students reflect on the problem to understand the situation. This process of reflection does not always take place if the activities presented to them are mere repetitions of problems requiring the application of an algorithm involving all the available quantities. If you want to continue working this type of exercises and many others, enter Smartick and try it for free.

If you want to keep working on these types of problems and many more, log in to Smartick and try it for free.

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Fun is our brain’s favorite way of learning
Diane Ackerman
Smartick is a fun way to learn math
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