Problem Solving Grades 4 and 5 - Monster Math - Distance Learning

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The Teacher Studio
Grade Levels
4th - 5th
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28 pages
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Looking for some GREAT and challenging math word problems and algebraic thinking task cards to go with a monster unit, Halloween, or just for fun? These monster task cards may be just what you are looking for!

The goal? To get students thinking deeply about math and recognizing that they can use patterns, guess and check, and other strategies to help them understand! This is basic computation—but using the brain in an entirely different way than a fill-in-the-blank worksheet.

You get TWO types of problems in this set!

Cards 1-12: Multi-step, differentiated word problems that ask students to make sense of the problem and use a variety of strategies to solve them. Fast finishers?

Have them do part 2!

Cards 13-24 These balance cards are perfect to develop algebraic thinking! Students need to use the information given to keep the scale balanced while figuring out how much each type of monster weighs. See the sample card for coaching help if you need it!


  • Full color cards that are perfect to project
  • 4 per page color task cards for printing as task cards
  • 4 per page black and white task cards for printing on colored paper or using in notebooks

Answers are included as are three rubrics to use to help in scoring the Standards for Mathematical Practice! Cards are included in both color and low-ink, black and white versions for ultimate flexibility as well as digital slides. There are blank recording sheets that can be used for students to track their work, or they can simply do their work in a notebook.

There are even blank templates so students can try making up their own problems—a totally different way to use their brains!

Check out the full preview to see more what you get!

See also these other resources tied to fall!

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Total Pages
28 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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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 Ă— 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 multistep word problems posed with whole numbers and having whole-number answers using the four operations, including problems in which remainders must be interpreted. 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.
Generate a number or shape pattern that follows a given rule. Identify apparent features of the pattern that were not explicit in the rule itself. For example, given the rule “Add 3” and the starting number 1, generate terms in the resulting sequence and observe that the terms appear to alternate between odd and even numbers. Explain informally why the numbers will continue to alternate in this way.
Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. Mathematically proficient students start by explaining to themselves the meaning of a problem and looking for entry points to its solution. They analyze givens, constraints, relationships, and goals. They make conjectures about the form and meaning of the solution and plan a solution pathway rather than simply jumping into a solution attempt. They consider analogous problems, and try special cases and simpler forms of the original problem in order to gain insight into its solution. They monitor and evaluate their progress and change course if necessary. Older students might, depending on the context of the problem, transform algebraic expressions or change the viewing window on their graphing calculator to get the information they need. Mathematically proficient students can explain correspondences between equations, verbal descriptions, tables, and graphs or draw diagrams of important features and relationships, graph data, and search for regularity or trends. Younger students might rely on using concrete objects or pictures to help conceptualize and solve a problem. Mathematically proficient students check their answers to problems using a different method, and they continually ask themselves, "Does this make sense?" They can understand the approaches of others to solving complex problems and identify correspondences between different approaches.
Reason abstractly and quantitatively. Mathematically proficient students make sense of quantities and their relationships in problem situations. They bring two complementary abilities to bear on problems involving quantitative relationships: the ability to decontextualize-to abstract a given situation and represent it symbolically and manipulate the representing symbols as if they have a life of their own, without necessarily attending to their referents-and the ability to contextualize, to pause as needed during the manipulation process in order to probe into the referents for the symbols involved. Quantitative reasoning entails habits of creating a coherent representation of the problem at hand; considering the units involved; attending to the meaning of quantities, not just how to compute them; and knowing and flexibly using different properties of operations and objects.


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