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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Common Core Word Problems: Fraction Addition and Subtraction

Time for a quick quiz!  

How many different problem types are there for addition and subtraction word problems?!?!

Answer: 12!

Yes!  There are 12 different problem types for addition and subtraction word problems.  When I first learned about the different types I realized I was not exposing my students to all of them.  At first it was challenging for me to remember to ask these questions in all these different ways.  I started with my youngest learners and have moved up through the grades.  In the past I have written about how I address these different problem types at the fact level and with multi-digit addition and subtraction.  Today I want to share with you how I address these problem types in the context of fraction addition and subtraction.

A great place to find examples of the different problem types is table 1 in the appendix of the Common Core.  If you are new to these problem types, you might want to print yourself a copy and keep it handy.  It is a great way to make sure your students are getting the exposure they need!
Just being aware of the different types of problems is a big step in the right direction.  I highly recommend you sit down and write a few problems of each type that are at a good level for your students.  This is what I did with fractions.  Because it is December and school schedules are crazy, I made mine into reindeer themed task cards.  This way we can try a few problems at a time and I can use them again in math centers.  
This problem is a take from, change unknown

This problem is put together/take apart total unknown.  I have a collection of reindeer antlers that are apparently fun to wear when doing these problems!  

If you have a Christmas tree in your classroom, decorating it with task cards can lead to some fun times! 
Get your students started on the journey to being successful with fraction addition and subtraction story problems with this sample set of free reindeer cards.  If you want the full set of 24, you can grab them here!

If you are looking for more information about the different problem types and a lot more examples, you might want to grab a copy of Children's Mathematics or check out our book study!  

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