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Sometimes in the reading out loud is it helpful to just skip the numbers altogether. Humor really DOES help learning! You can change the names of the people in the word problems to your children, their friends, or even their favorite super hero. Are there keywords you can circle? There are other key math words that may help you analyze a word problem — but be careful. Depending on key words alone does not encourage students to think mathematically about a problem or use logic to reason toward a solution.

Sometimes key words do not appear in problems, or additional operations may be required to find the final answer Encourage them to take the whole of the word problem in context. Make sure you both understand what the problem is asking before seeking out those individual words. If word problems cause anxiety in your child, help them become the drafter of word problems. That is the computation. Have your student create a situation to accompany those numbers.


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Developing a proficiency in creating word problems really helps students develop confidence in analyzing them. Remind your student that those who write word problems are a sneaky lot.

Bad Choices

They will put in information that is not necessary just to throw a student off track. If irrelevant information is a challenge for your student, try creating some word problems that contain unnecessary information. Help them become proficient in knowing what is not necessary — that is a life skill in and of itself! If there is a lesson in the Math-U-See curriculum that is giving you a particular challenge, make very sure you have consulted the corresponding lesson pages in the instruction manual. We always provide instruction for the how as well as the why, and often, if a family is challenged with a lesson, we find that the answers they seek can be found in the lesson manual pages.

Word problems need to be answered in words too. Make sure that you have answered the question in words. Further, does your answer make mathematical sense? Can you plug your answer back into the word problem and work it out to to see that it is indeed correct? Remember this step. This leads to frustration for a student who has worked hard, and perhaps not found the right answer. Just like any skill, learning to negotiate word problems is something that happens over time.

You are not going to be an overnight success most of the time.

But if you, as the parent, can stay affirmative and encouraging, you can make a tremendous difference for your student. In conclusion, I realize that this blog post is long. The information will be helpful to you. If you still want more, we offer more help with word problems on our parent resource page:. We do need to have a conversation about what our math anxiety does to our children.

Look for that blog post to come in the near future. We want you and your student to have success in all your mathematical endeavors! Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. It also helps you release anger and forgive sooner. With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.

Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use. As children, we used to laugh hundreds of times a day, but as adults, life tends to be more serious and laughter more infrequent. But by seeking out more opportunities for humor and laughter, you can improve your emotional health, strengthen your relationships, find greater happiness—and even add years to your life.

Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

The benefits of laughter

Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. Laughter burns calories. Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment.

Laughter may even help you to live longer. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer. Laughter makes you feel good. And this positive feeling remains with you even after the laughter subsides. Humor helps you keep a positive, optimistic outlook through difficult situations, disappointments, and loss. More than just a respite from sadness and pain, laughter gives you the courage and strength to find new sources of meaning and hope.

Even in the most difficult of times, a laugh—or even simply a smile—can go a long way toward making you feel better. And laughter really is contagious—just hearing laughter primes your brain and readies you to smile and join in the fun. Laughter stops distressing emotions. Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more. Laughter shifts perspective , allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light.

A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and diffuse conflict. Laughter draws you closer to others, which can have a profound effect on all aspects of your mental and emotional health. And the more laughter you bring into your own life, the happier you and those around you will feel.

Shared laughter is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and exciting. All emotional sharing builds strong and lasting relationship bonds, but sharing laughter also adds joy, vitality, and resilience. And humor is a powerful and effective way to heal resentments, disagreements, and hurts. Laughter unites people during difficult times. Humor and playful communication strengthen our relationships by triggering positive feelings and fostering emotional connection.

When we laugh with one another, a positive bond is created.

Make Word Problems Fun [Video]

This bond acts as a strong buffer against stress, disagreements, and disappointment. Humor and laughter in relationships allows you to:. Be more spontaneous. Humor gets you out of your head and away from your troubles. Let go of defensiveness. Laughter helps you forget resentments, judgments, criticisms, and doubts. Express your true feelings.

Deeply felt emotions are allowed to rise to the surface. Laughter is an especially powerful tool for managing conflict and reducing tension when emotions are running high.

Laughter is your birthright, a natural part of life that is innate and inborn. Infants begin smiling during the first weeks of life and laugh out loud within months of being born. Even if you did not grow up in a household where laughter was a common sound, you can learn to laugh at any stage of life. Begin by setting aside special times to seek out humor and laughter, as you might with exercising, and build from there. When you look at someone or see something even mildly pleasing, practice smiling. Instead of looking down at your phone, look up and smile at people you pass in the street, the person serving you a morning coffee, or the co-workers you share an elevator with.

Notice the effect on others. Count your blessings.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Literally make a list. The simple act of considering the positive aspects of your life will distance you from negative thoughts that block humor and laughter. When you hear laughter, move toward it. Sometimes humor and laughter are private, a shared joke among a small group, but usually not. More often, people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humor you find in it. Spend time with fun, playful people. Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious.

Every comedian appreciates an audience. Bring humor into conversations. This week? In your life?


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