Often times experienced mathematicians tend to get comfortable with certain problem-solving strategies. For example, in a problem one might use a system of equations to solve a problem rather than employing a simpler more easy way to solve it. Though using system of equations are great, knowing how to solve problems using different approaches is important, not just for oneself, but for their students.
Take for example the following problem: A farmer has both pigs and chickens on his farm. There are 78 feet and 27 heads. How many pigs and how many chickens are there?
Solution 1: (Using Algebra System of Equations)
4p+2c=78 (pigs have 4 feet and chickens have 2 feet with 78 feet in total)
p+c=27 (27 heads mean that the number of chicken and pigs total 27)
Then by algebra p=27-c. Therefore by substitution, 4(27-c)+2c=78. 108-2c=78. 2c=30. c=15. Since, c=15, p+c=p+15=27. p=12. Therefore, the farmer has 15 chickens and 12 pigs...
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Simply put, a graphic organizer is a visual way to communicate complicated material.
Here is a graphic organizer that can be used to help students who are struggling to solve word problems:
Click Here to Download Graphic Organizer .
This organizer teaches kids to go through the following 5 steps as they tackle a problem and includes helpful hints to a few of the most common phrases used in word problems.
What Do I Know?
Draw a picture
Write down information
What I Need to Know?
What are they asking me to find?
What is My Plan?
Use the helpful clues below to help set up a number sentence.
Solve the Problem
Use the plan and solve the problem.
Check My Answer
Did I go back to the question to make sure that all the parts were answered?
Does my answer to make sense?
Write my final answer and circle it.
If you have a student who is struggling...
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So 100% of my students, grade 3-8, passed their NY State Mathematics, English Language Arts and Science Core exams. Most see improvements in school and a few received Academic Achievement Awards.

So 100% of my students, grade 3-8, passed their NY State Mathematics, English Language Arts and Science Core exams. Most see improvements in school and a few received Academic Achievement Awards.

So 100% of my students, grade 3-8, passed their NY State Mathematics, English Language Arts and Science Core exams. Most see improvements in school and a few received Academic Achievement Awards.

I have found this great site for you to enter the exact problem and get and answer. The site even explains why you got it right or wrong.
Check it out!
http://www.webmath.com/index.html