read alouds

Multi-step Word Problems

Well, here I am on a Friday sitting at home sick. :( I'm so mad because we are in the peek of a lot of learning fun and I wanted to be at school so bad!! But, with a super sore throat and other not fun things-I decided it would be best to contain myself today and rest. So, I rested until noon time and now I'm still feeling icky... but, bored. What do I do to relax? I blog! :)

I've been meaning to share the progress we made with multi-step word problems! I've got loads of pictures and I'm excited to share!

When I first started thinking about teaching multi-step word problems I was stuck to be quite honest with you. I was like... um... how exactly do you teach this? I researched and wrote down everything I could find. I looked for outside resources to help teach me how to teach this topic and through all of that I embarked on my new unit, "Multi-step Word Problems." I am also going to be totally honest with you... I started this file in the summer!! Yes, this file has 3 months of ideas in it! I'm glad I took my good ol' time on this unit because it really benefited my students.

Before I taught students about multi-step word problems I made sure they all had a good foundation for addition and subtraction using the regrouping and decomposing strategy using double and triple numbers.

When I first introduced multi-step word problems I did not just hand some word problems to students and say go! We worked on a variety of strategies and word problems together. Then, we worked on single step word problems to get used to using our strategies. I got those here.

After my students had a firm grasp on those we then solved a multi-step word problem together and had a LOT of discussion and even began noting addition and subtraction key words. We wrote those down on a poster so students can refer to them later.  Afterwards, I let the students practice solving multi-step word problems independently.

As students finished I walked around and went through their word problems with them (quickly).

The other students worked on their assigned math station for that day until it was their turn.
It was great, immediate feedback for them!

The next day, students were introduced to three types of word problems that they'll encounter. We practiced solving those types and then broke out into math groups. Each group was given a set of word problems to work on together. I LOVE to let students explore and problem solving. It takes a long time... but the pay off is so worth it.

Each type of word problem (there are 9) has their own poster with an explanation of the word problem and an example.

Each group got a huge poster, word problem cards and recording forms. 
The worked together to solve their word problems. Tons of discussion was happening!

Here is an example of one groups poster!

Each after this I introduced new types of word problems and we worked together in the math workshop format so I could provide more support to those that needed it. 
Here are a few snapshots of our teacher time! :)

We worked for about 3-4 days on our word problems before I felt that they had a pretty good grasp on the concept. We've got to keep rollin'!

We 'ended' this unit with an assessment and a word strip craft!
It is great to see them put their strategies to use!

There you have it...very quickly and simply! Multi-step Word Problems!


  1. Love how much effort you've put in to cover every type of word problem you could ever imagine. Love the posters and all the activities. I think some of my second graders are ready for this :)
    Sheri :)
    Early Years with Sheri

    1. Also did you come up with the idea for the CUBES acronym because I absolutely love it and want to make some little sets for my learners but didn't want to steal your idea :)

  2. Those multistep word problems can be ROUGH for the kiddos but your unit looks incredible!!! Thanks for sharing :) Hope you feel better soon!

    The Techie Teacher

  3. Hi! LOVE this unit! Did you make those posters for that have the steps for solving word problems? I love them and can't find anything similar :(

  4. Hi, I love this! Thinking about getting the unit but one of the links doesn't work and I was wondering what it was linked to! Thank you.