# The Craft of Word Problems

## Problem Solving Through Communication

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## Word Problems by Joyce Bryant

- 1. The local news team covered the Democratic political convention for four nights and five days. On Monday they covered 250 minutes, Tuesday 500 minutes, Wednesday 480 minutes, Thursday 350 minutes and Friday 200 minutes. How many hours did they cover? At $200 per minute, how much money did the news team earn?
- 2. The six o’clock news has 90 minutes broadcast time. The consumer reports, weather, and sports use 30 minutes. How much time is left for reporting the other news if commercials use 15 minutes?
- 2. The anchorperson on the evening news works from 4:00 p.m. until midnight, with one hours for dinner. How many hours does the anchorperson work?
- 2. The local network charged $500,000 for one-minute commercials during the super bowl football game. How much money did the local network earn for 5 ½ minutes?
- 2. Invite a representative from the local television station and have them speak to the classes concerning their work at the TV station.

Topics of discussion:

- a. How much time is spent preparing the news to be televised?
- b. How does one determine the number of commercials?
- c. How much money is spent on airing commercials?
- d. Does one who reports the news like their job and why?

Objective

To solve word problems using the five step plan.

Remind students to use a five step plan because more information is given in the problem than before.

Have students work in groups to try and solve the problem. List the steps on the board.

- 1. Read the problem carefully and make sure that they understand what the problem says.
- 2. Ask questions like the following:
- a. what is asked for?
- b. what facts are given?
- c. are enough facts given?
- d. are unnecessary facts given?
- e. will a sketch or a diagram help?
- 3. Make a determination as to which operations can and will be used.
- 4. Carry out the operations.
- 5. Check solution and give the answer.

### Have students work in groups and solve the following problem:

George’s Restaurant received a shipment of 20 cases of lettuce and 18 cases of tomatoes. Each case of lettuce had 10 heads of lettuce in it and each case of tomatoes had 12 tomatoes in it. How many heads of lettuce and tomatoes did George’s Restaurant receive?

After the students have solved the problem, review the steps and strategies that were used in solving the problem by the different groups.

Word problems may be written by students and may be used in the following manner:

- 1. students may try and solve the problems
- 2. rewrite the word problem
- 3. make a determination as to whether the problem should be discarded.

1. Jason went into a store and saw a sign which read 20% off of all men’s suits which were $100.00 each. If Jason bought three suits, what would be the price of the suits with 20% off?

2. Pat went to math class and wanted to know how to change a fraction to a decimal. If she was to change 5 ¾ to a decimal, what would her answer be?

3. Marie bought an electric mixer for $80.50. She was charged 6% sales tax on $80.50. How much tax did she pay?

4. Steve’s test scores were 91, 90, 97, 89, and 75. Janet’s test scores were 100, 96, 88, 75, and 80. What is the average of Steve’s score and the average of Janet’s score?

5. Janet’s father traveled at a rate of 64 miles per hour for 6 hours. How many miles did Janet’s father travel?