Student led lesson...teaching Multi-Step Word problems

I have noticed my kiddos are having a HARD time with multistep word problems! Are yours? The other third grade teachers are feeling the same thing! So next week we have a bit of downtime as far as teaching math goes due to testing, field trips, and a teacher workday. So I am taking some time to do some student led teaching! 

And so this unit was born:)

I created 20 different mutlti-step posters with a matching work page

This way, the posters can be displayed on my active board and the students can use them for their first drafts. The work pages will be put into a workbook packet. Then, when it comes to teaching day, the kids have the problems all typed out and can do it along with their "teachers."

I am also working on creating a TASK list for them to do when creating their poster and teaching it to the class...but I feel stuck. This is what I have so far...
Any ideas of what I can add/change??? HELP ME!

This is all  I have left and the unit is done. I would LOVE to give away a set or two. Just leave a comment and I will pick tomorrow night!

I am off to heat my wrist! It is getting better...but not 100% yet! blah:(


  1. Ah... this pack will definitely help my kiddos! Hope your wrist gets better!

  2. Please let the story problem god be with me...we just took a math test where the students had to solve a multi-step problem and all I can say is, there was a lot of creativity in what they did! (Unfortunately, creative ≠ right...)

    tokyoshoes (at) hotmail (dot) com

  3. One of the steps that I have students do is to draw a picture. Sometimes they can't just visualize what they are meant to be thinking, so taking the time to draw assists their processing. So with your first example of 3 children's tickets and 2 adult tickets, just drawing those 5 faces and then writing the dollar amounts underneath (3+3+3+5+5) helps them see that they will be adding many numbers and perhaps allows them to see the steps as well.

    Might help!

    1. yup, I do pictures too, especially for multiplication and division. How did I forget that??? Thank you SO much!

  4. I agree that a picture is a good strategy to use. We use arrays and pictures to show multiplication. Some students just need that visual. I agree that multi-steps are very difficult for most third graders. Neat idea.

  5. Tonya my kids are struggling with multi-step problems too! Ugh! Your unit looks like just the thing to help them out! :-)


  6. On some of the problems they can write an equation to show the result of their thinking. Does that make sense? Some of them can draw a picture, but they can't always put an equation for what they have done. So, maybe part of the task could be writing an equation (when that applies)?

    It looks great though!
    Collaboration Cuties

    1. Can you give me an example?

    2. I was thinking writing number sentences... Two of course one for each problem (this is what I think Amanda is talking about). So like for the problem about Melissa my first number sentence could be 7+5+8=20 and then the second number sentence would be 20x4=80. This is a huge part of how I teach multi step problems. I draw big red boxes around the number I have to have in the second step that is the answer to the first step. Hope this makes sense!

  7. We use something called RUMOR that I learned from a colleague who used it in Texas. This is how it works:

    Read and Understand the Problem
    Underline the question
    Mark any key information
    Operations (do the math)
    Recheck for accuracy

    Anytime they see a word problem, they write
    and use it as a checklist.

    Though I don't think you could add it to your pack since I am sure they have some kind of ownership over it, I would say that in my 8 years of teaching it's the best approach to problem-solving I have used and my kids really seem to like it. I teach 5th but multi-step problem solving is difficult for them as well so when I saw your post I figured I would share :-)

    Rachel at Mrs O Knows

  8. What about having the CUBES format (Circle, Underline, Box, Evaluate, Solve & check)-which it looks like you are pretty close to already having. This looks great for almost any age...I feel like they all think they just have to do one step to get the answers every time when that is not the case!

    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine

  9. This may not be what you are looking for, but I think the wording in the first problem should say 3 children's tickets, not 3 children tickets.

  10. My students struggle with word problems. Especially multi-step problems. It seems that they don't persevere. They want an answer right away and do not want to show any work. It's making me crazy!

  11. This unit looks GREAT! I especially appreciate how you added the poster-making component! One thing I have my kiddos do when answering multi-step problems is to write a complete sentence using the word because to show how they know their answer is correct. For example, Melissa spent $45.98 at the store because _____. (Not sure if that is something you would want to include that on their posters???)

  12. This unit is awesome! My students too struggle with multi-step problems and we do a lot of modeling to help them understand the different ways to do the problems. We do draw out problems also, especially with multiplication and division. It really helps with visualization. This unit would be a big help!


  13. These look great - I'm sure they will help your students out. It is great that you've made them so you can use them for whole group instruction/practice and individual worksheets. I find that is what helps me kids the most - going from whole group instruction, to work with a partner or small group, to individual practice.

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  14. Thanks for the opportunity.

  15. These look amazing!

  16. This looks awesome, my kids could totally use this! What we use in my class to show our work and walk us through problems is a Singapore math strategy called making a MESS. Students begin by identifying the important information they need to know (basically going through your steps of circling, underlining, and boxing) they use that information to create a bar Model drawing. From this drawing, they're able to identify the difference between multiplication addition and subtraction problems...they use their drawing the create an Equation. They then write a Sentence with their answer and the last S stands for any scratch work ...
    Model drawing
    Sentence with answer
    Scratch work

    Awesome job on this new product I would definitely love to check it out!! :)

  17. Look great!
    I know our state test has word problems that include charts about patterns (so does our science) which a blank spot and students have to determine what goes into the blank.

    I know there are also questions that have mutli-steps involved.

  18. LOVE this! What wonderful practice for such a hard skill!

  19. If you are willing, I would REALLY appreciate this! I work in a low income school and multi step word problems are a huge issue in my 3rd grade class! I love the idea of letting the students teach these!

    1. they are available in my TpT and TN shops!

  20. Love this! Thanks so much

  21. How do you get access to there?