For many students, math word problems are the bane of their existence. High school math teachers tell me that a number of their students just refuse to even try to solve such problems—perhaps because of years of failure and unwillingness to subject themselves to further failure. Many other students manage to “get by” through memorization of rules of thumb such as “of” means “times” while “and” often means “plus.” They have little understanding of what they are doing, or how it relates to solving “real world” problems.
I have recently revised and updated my 27-page IAE-pedia document on Math Word Problems (Moursund, 2016a). My target audience is K-12 teachers and parents of students in these grade levels. Unfortunately for struggling students, there is no “magical solution” to solving word problems in this document. However, it contains considerable useful information.