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Solving Math Word Problems with Online Tools

If your student or child is struggling with a dreaded math word problem, there are tools to help him reach the solution on his own.  Some of my favorite are on Math Playground, a website with problems,  problem-solving tools, and math games for grades 1-12.  Math Playground was designed by Colleen King, a math teacher and researcher who is continually looking for ways to use technology to increase student understanding of math.

 Math Playground Thinking Blocks
One of  her website's best problem-solving tools is Thinking Blocks™ interactives for problems with addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and ratios, grades 2-7.  These interactives were developed by teachers to help young kids visualize parts, multiple steps, and parts-totals relationships.

Other useful problem-solving tools on Math Playground are the video explanations for solving many different types of word problems.  There are single-stage problems and multiple-stage problems for upper elementary and middle school math concepts using fractions, percentages, ratios, probability, geometry, averages and algebra.

For older students in grades 7 and above,  the SAT section provides step-by-step video guidance for solving word problems typically found on the SAT.  These include probability, data analysis, quadrilaterals, coordinate and solid geometry, among others.

Online, you'll find countless worksheets with word problems.  And there are some online instructions for how to go about solving the problems.  But there are precious few websites that guide kids through problem solving step-by-step.  Math Playground  is one of the best at providing interactive assistance for your child to build confidence in solving word problems.

For more math word problem practice and assistance, look at the websites described on

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