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Discussion in 'Primary' started by redladybird, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. I was wondering what people use to help children to solve word problems. I know lots of people use RUCSAC. Do you find it helps? What about KS1 teachers or those of children struggling. How do you teach or structure solving word problems. Thank you for your help.
  2. slippeddisc

    slippeddisc New commenter

    I would say RUCSAC is a bit advanced for KS1.
    Have you tried starting the children off on simplified problems without the 'padding'
    e.g. 32 minus 15.
    What is 45 plus 28.
    How many left if I subtract 17 from 34.

    I have found this helped. Use a range of vocabulary to get them used to work problem vocab.

  3. marylamb

    marylamb New commenter

    I found that RUCSAC can work in KS1 and have seen it used really well in Year 2. The key is to keep the problem short. As a previous post said. Start with:
    12 add four (first just change the words for the operation eg. add, plus, and)..
    then add a content in to it e,g:
    12 sweets add 16 sweets.
    then: 12 sweets add 16 sweets. How many altogther? (now it is a question)
    use the rucsac to read the problem. then ask the kids what the opperation is (ADD) underline this word and then talk about working it out. You do not have to specify using every single word. or just use RUC for the lower ability. (read underline and calculate or solve)
    For the lower ability make the kids visualise the problem by acting it out, taking things away, or adding on. Do this by giving them practical resources. (UNIFIX cubes are really good for this.) It is really important they can understand the problem. Use small numbers for example adam has three marbles and sam gives him four more. use marbles and the kids and act out the problem.
    so all in all: act it out, understand it - visualise it THEN work it out.... people jump into the calculation - the key to word problems is understanding the content. A child will work it out a lot faster if they can SEE the problem in thier head.
    Let me know if this helps- or if you completely diagree!
    malteaser muncher
  4. Thank you for your ideas and suggestions, they are really helpful. I will look at using part of RUCSAC instead of the whole thing which I felt was too much. Thanks

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