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Excel Math Blog

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Higher Order Word Problems for Math Students

New standards ask students to solve higher order word problems and begin to explain their reasoning as they look for the answers.

Here's a word problem from one of our Excel Math lessons to help students calculate the cost of a day of roller skating.

Feel free to share it with your students. The answers are shown in red.

Excel Math Word Problem

Excel Math Expanded Word Problem


Excel Math lessons provide lots of opportunities for students to solve word problems and even write their own!

Excel Math features indepth word problems called Create A Problem.

The Create A Problem pages in Excel Math give students a chance to merge math with literacy as they create their own story problems and solve them.

This feature lets students express their own understanding of a story problem, explore various problem-solving techniques, finish longer story problems, and eventually write their own problems.

Create A Problem exercises are included on the back of the test pages for Grades 2 - 6.

Here's an example of a Create A Problem exercise for Grade 2.

Create a Problem Grade 2
Grade 2 Excel Math Create A Problem


0 - 9 numbers

The right-hand side of the Create A Problem page will usually provide activities for the students to complete and problems for them to solve from the story.

We start with simple stories and give students a chance to observe what is happening in the story.

They then use those observations to solve mathematical problems.


Later in the curriculum we ask students to create a problem or two, and make up their own CheckAnswer.

The stories become more involved as the students progress through the year.

These exercises provide a great way for students to begin to verbalize the problem-solving strategies they use and to hear how their classmates solve the same problem.

Remind students to show their work as they solve the problems.

The format of the story problems will change about every quarter.

Finally, students are able to finish a story in their own words and write several problems about their story ending.

Create A Problem
Grade 4 Excel Math Create A Problem

0 - 9 numbers

This demonstrates mastery AND integration.

The format of the page allows longer answers, along with charts, graphs and other expressions of the students' solutions.

Excel Math Teacher Editions are available in versions for:

If you would like a sample packet, visit our Sample Packet page and choose from these versions.

If you prefer to have a packet mailed to you, leave your address in the comments box below and we'll send you an intro DVD along with the sample packet.

You might also like these articles:

Using Number Lines in the Math Class

Tax Tips for Educators

Extreme Math
Calming the Frenzy Over Fractions

Excel Math Helps Students Raise Test Scores


New to Excel Math? Preview elementary math lessons that really work for Kindergarten through Sixth Grade on the products page of our website:

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