We recently put together a bundle of Addition and Subtraction Story Math Problems (with number options for Kindergarten - 2nd grade).
What is Story Math?
Story Math makes math meaningful. It puts math in a familiar context that children can naturally figure out.
Instead of having your child practice math by doing a worksheet with a bunch of addition and subtraction math problems (that have no real-world context), we use Story Math to bring mathematical problems to life!
Story Math takes math problems (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) and puts them into the context of a story. Through the story, children are able to use their knowledge to figure out the solution on their own.
Tips for using Story Math at home:
Do one story math problem a day.
You don’t need to overdo it by making your child solve a bunch of different story math problems. These are not meant to be drill-and-kill worksheets.
Try more than one number choice
Once they figure out a strategy for solving the problem, give them a different number choice, and see if they can apply the same strategy.
Read the story to them.
Act it out. Repeat it a few times and clarify anything they might not understand.
Make sure they understand the story.
Have them explain the story to you.
Give them tools, but don’t show them what to do.
Be sure to give your child a physical object to count with (this could be rocks, beans, Cheerios, etc.)
Then sit back and watch them solve.
Ask questions if they get stuck, but don’t show them what to do! Part of making a deeper connection to math and strengthening number sense is allowing them to invent their own strategies for solving the problems.
Does your child need more help? Break the story down into smaller chunks.
If your child gets stuck or needs help getting started, break the story down into smaller parts, and encourage your child to use manipulatives (Cheerios, beans, erasers) to act the story out.
Ask Guiding Questions if necessary
"How many fish did he start with? Show me."
"Okay, now how many fish jumped back into the river? Show me the fish jumping in the river."
"How many fish do you have left?"
After solving the problem...
When they have finished solving the problem, have them explain to you what they did.
This is a very important step. Explaining their thinking helps kids to make connections and solidify their learning.
When using Story Math, please DO NOT show your child what to do.
Give her manipulatives or counters to use, but please do not "teach traditional methods for solving math problems."
Story Math Freebie
We have put together an editable Story Math Bundle for you in Google Drive. This Bundle has 14 Mixed Addition and Subtraction Story Math Problems for you to print out and use with your child.
They are editable, so you can change the names and the number choices to match your child's level.
Answer Keys are also included!
How to Open the Story Math in Google Drive
- When you click on the link to open the Story Math Bundle, it will ask you to make a copy of the Google Slide and save it to your Google Drive.
- Name it something you will remember and somewhere you can find it in Google Drive
- Once you make a copy, you should be able to edit the text and the numbers. The boxes with number choices can also be moved.