NEW Problem Solving Using Strip Diagrams Task Cards Grades 3-5

Mad for Math
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Mad for Math


I feel like I’m constantly telling my students “show your work,” “show your thinking,” “what operation should you do?” And they have so many tangles that they don’t know where to begin. That’s why I love using the model approach with strip diagrams. It gives the students something concrete to begin with to show their thinking and it visually helps them to “see” what operation should be used in the word problem.

These 56 task cards are differentiated to help your students begin to understand the model and feel comfortable with it before having to apply it within word problems and then finally create their own word problems to match the diagrams. It’s a mixture of addition, subtraction, division and multiplication models – part to whole and comparison, also multi-step diagrams. Student will start by analyzing each model and finding the missing number and writing the matching equation. Then there are word problems with a blank strip diagram for the students to fill in and solve. Lastly, student will be asked to create their own word problem to match the given diagram.

•Cards 1-13 focus on the part-whole model for addition and subtraction.
•Cards 14-20 focus on the comparison model for addition and subtraction.
•Cards 21-28 focus on models for multiplication.
•Cards 29-36 focus on models for division.
•Cards 37-52 are mixed word problems with the strip diagram there for the student to fill in and solve.
•Cards 53-56 are strip diagrams for the student to create their own word problem to match.

You can use this download as task cards, cutting each problem out and using the included answer recording sheet. I also use these as homework for my special education students during the unit- printing out one or two full sheets per night. You can even use them as an assessment, quick check, spiral ticket out the door, play SCOOT the options are endless. Answer documents are included for teacher quick check or student self-check.

This document is aligned to: Texas 3.5B, 4.5A, 5.4B
Common Core 3.OA.A.1, 3.OA.D.8, 4.OA.A.1

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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Interpret a multiplication equation as a comparison, e.g., interpret 35 = 5 × 7 as a statement that 35 is 5 times as many as 7 and 7 times as many as 5. Represent verbal statements of multiplicative comparisons as multiplication equations.
Solve two-step word problems using the four operations. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.
Interpret products of whole numbers, e.g., interpret 5 × 7 as the total number of objects in 5 groups of 7 objects each. For example, describe a context in which a total number of objects can be expressed as 5 × 7.


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