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Math: Story Problems

Clue Words

 

Today's Snack: Do you have a sore foot and are clueless how to fix it? Well, here's a clue - eat cherries! They are nature's anti-inflammatory agent. That means that when your body hurts because something is inflamed (red, swollen, painful, "hot"), there are chemicals in cherries that can relieve those symptoms. See? Life IS a bowl of cherries! So have a bowl - be sure to spit out the pits - and enjoy some canned cherry juice, too!

 

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Supplies:

Print out this page, or project it on a big screen

Math textbook(s) with story problems

No. 2 pencil with eraser

Scratch paper

 

 

A detective looks for "clues" in a crime scene. You can do the same thing - look for "clues" - when trying to solve a math story problem.

 

There are usually one or more "clue words" in a story problem which guide you on whether you need to add, subtract, multiply, or divide in order to find the correct solution.

 

Take a look at these four lists of clue words, and then open up your math textbook, find several story problems, and lightly circle with a pencil any of these clue words that you see. Then, on the scratch paper, solve the problem.

 

Go over your results with an adult or other student, and once you are sure you got 100%, then erase your pencil marks. That's a "clue" that goes for anything in life - if you make a mess (pencil marks), clean it up (erase them!).

 

ADDITION CLUE WORDS

 

add

 

sum

 

total

 

plus

 

in all

 

both

 

together

 

increased by

 

altogether

 

combined

 

 

SUBTRACTION CLUE WORDS

 

subtract

 

difference

 

take away

 

less than

 

are not

 

remain

 

decreased by

 

have left

 

are left

 

change (coins, money)

 

more

 

fewer

 

 

MULTIPLICATION CLUE WORDS

 

times

 

product of

 

multiplied by

 

by (height, width, depth)

 

of

 

 

DIVISION CLUE WORDS

 

quotient of

 

divided by

 

half (or a fraction)

 

split

 

separated

 

cut up

 

parts

 

shared equally

 

(division and subtraction clue words are similar; division is needed if you know the total, but are asked to tell the size or number of "one" or "each")

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.AfterSchoolTreats.com Math 2010

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