Seeing Word Problems Visually
Other than algebraic expressions and fractions, word problems are the most dreaded and feared math subject for most students. It is bad enough to have work with math in numbers, but to have to manipulate figures by converting words to numbers and symbols can be like torture.
Unfortunately, avoiding word problems is less than likely to happen, and this makes the issues that many of us have with word problems seem insurmountable, when in reality they are not. The issue is not really the word problems themselves; it is how the student goes about solving them. Instead of pledging to grin, bear it, get creative and teach your students how to solve word problems visually.
Naturally, visual learners have qualities that many teachers favor: Neatness, good organizational skills, and a creative side. On the other hand, they usually do not take notes very well and will do better with remembering information featured in pictures. Spelling tests are an easy task with this type of learner but do not expect them to do so well with verbal information. If you have a visual learner in your class, or suspect you do, you will quickly learn that they have a good memory for faces. These are all great attributes for a student to have but we don't always know what will work best for them in math, so let's talk about what will and what won't.