Tips for Creating 8th Grade Level Word Problems
Question
Using hockey sticks and pucks helps the student relate to more abstract math concept of
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Tips for Creating 8th Grade Level Word Problems

Hi, I'm Scott for About.com. Today I have a few tips for you on how to create 8th grade level word problems from Math.About.com.Word problems are a great way to teach students how the math they are learning in school applies to everyday practical situations. Word problems or story problems help students develop critical thinking skills.Start by becoming familiar with the general concepts the student is learning in math. Students in the eighth grade should be studying more complex algebra and patterning, including being able to write algebraic equations.
Additionally, the eighth grade curriculum includes more advanced levels of probability and explaining patterns in data, more complex geometry skills, and finally measurement and number concepts including factors and square roots. The word problems you develop for your student should focus on testing these skills. For an overview of fourth grade math skills, go to: Math.About.com.Once you've decided the type of word problem you're going to create, relate the problem to a real-life situation. Students in the eighth grade are advancing their understanding of algebra, geometry, probability, measurement and more complex number concepts.
Eighth grade word problems should test these specific skills. When creating word problems for eighth graders, use people, objects, places, or concepts that they are familiar with. In the following word problem, familiar sports references help the student both better relate to abstract eighth grade number concepts and to take more interest in the math problem.Here is a sample problem: 5 hockey pucks and three hockey sticks cost \$23. 5 hockey pucks and 1 hockey stick cost \$20. How much does 1 hockey puck cost?
To solve the equation, the student should set two variables: one for hockey pucks (I used p) and the other for sticks (I used s). Using these variables, create two linear algebraic equations. The first would be 5p + 3s = 23 and the second 5p + s = 20.
Then, it's useful to first solves the bottom equation because you can easily isolate the variable S on one side of the equation. Do this, and find that s = 20 - 5p and plug this into the first equation, 5p + 3s = 23, to solve for p. Then you get p = 3.7 or 3 dollars and 70 cents per puck.
Here, using hockey sticks and pucks helps the student relate to more abstract math concept of linear algebraic expressions.Math is all about problem solving. One of the best ways to help students learn math is to present them with a problem in which they have to devise their own strategies to find the solution(s).
There is usually more than one way to solve many math problems, so try to devise a problem that can be solved in two or more different ways using math concepts familiar to the student.Here is the sample problem: What is the best buy for the following advertised sale on pop? a.) 8 cans for \$4.88 b.) 10 cans for \$5.80 c.) 3 cans for \$1.68 or d.) 12 cans for \$7.20?
Here, one way to solve the question is to write out simple linear algebraic equations for each option and solve. The answer could also be arrived at by simply using basic division. You can find word problem worksheets according to each grade on Math.About.com along with more practical problem solving tips.