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This session addressed the process of solving word problems. They key issue is separating the process from the content of the problem.

The process used comes from Singapore Math. It uses a single representational model (the unit bar) for a variety of problems. The steps of the process are:

- Read the entire problem.
- Identify the people in the question (Juan, or Mrs. Finkelberry), and what of their posessions the problem is about (Juan's Money, or Mrs. Finkelberry's pies).
- Draw unit bar(s) as appropriate.
- Read the problem again, sentence by sentence (or fragment, as appropriate) using the given information to label the unit bars.
- Determine what the question is, and illustrate it on the unit bar.
- Compute the problem.
- Write the answer as a complete sentence.

- Patient = Problem
- Symptoms = Arithmetic Vocabulary
- Diagnose = Choose operation(s)
- Operate = Solve
- Final Checkup = Is the answer reasonable?

Below are some examples of the Singapore Math Unit Bar applied to a variety of problems.

**Addition**

**Subtraction**

**Multiplication**

**Division**

**Complex**

I have attempted to create some lessons based on this concept. They are available here.

Copyright (c) 2003-2008 F. Knauss