Suzanne, a second grader struggling to do math story problems
Suzanne is in second grade. Although Suzanne is able to complete arithmetic problems consisting of random numbers on a worksheet, she is failing math since her class started doing story problems. Suzanne struggles to comprehend the story problems and is unsure of which arithmetic processes to apply for solving them. Suzanne’s parents feel she cannot do the story problems because of the reading and comprehension involved, but she has good grades in reading and in comprehension.
The Game Plan
Suzanne struggled to solve story problems because she had always completed arithmetic problems with random numbers and had little experience applying the skills to real-life contexts. Young children often have trouble bridging the gap between random arithmetic problems and the specific use of the skills in real-life contexts. Suzanne was retaught the arithmetic by focusing on the application of skills and completing her thought processes.