Verbal Problem Solving

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Verbal and problem solving
There are two steps to solving math word problems:
1. Translate the wording into a numeric equation
that combines smaller "expressions"
2. Solve the equation!
* Read the problem entirely
Get a feel for the whole problem
* List information and the variables you identify
Attach units of measure to the variables (gallons, miles, inches, etc.) * Define what answer you need,
as well as its units of measure
* Work in an organized manner
Working clearly will help you think clearly
* Draw and label all graphs and pictures clearly
* Note or explain each step of your process;
this will help you track variables and remember their meanings * Look for the "key" words (above)
Certain words indicate certain mathematical operations:
Math expressions (examples):
after you review the keywords, test yourself
addition: 5+x| subtraction: 5-x|
multiplication: 5*x; 5x| division: 5 ÷ x; 5/x|
Exercise: ("mouse over" the block for answer)|
Key words for addition + 
increased by; more than; combined together; total of; sum; added to| What is the sum of 8 and y?| 8 + y|
Express the number (x) of apples
increased by two| x + 2|
Express the total weight of
Alphie the dog (x) and Cyrus the cat (y)| x + y|
Key words for Subtraction - 
less than, fewer than, reduced by, decreased by, difference of| What is four less than y| y - 4|
What is nine less than a number (y)| y - 9|
What if the number (x) of pizzas
was reduced by 6?| x - 6|
What is the difference of my weight (x)
and your weight (y)| x - y|
Key words for multiplication * x or integers next to each other (5y, xy): of, times, multiplied by|
What is y multiplied by 13| 13y or 13 * y|
Three runners averaged "y" minutes.
Express their total running time:| 3y|
I drive my car at 55 miles per hour.
How far will I go in "x" hours?| 55x|
Key words for division ÷ / 
per, a; out of; ratio of,...
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