Problem Solving Task Cards: Word Problem Strategies for GOOGLE Distance Learning

Grade Levels
3rd - 5th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Google Apps™
49 pages
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Includes Google Apps™
The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).


Do your students struggle to solve word problems? Do you struggle to know how to help? This set of digital task cards is like problem solving "professional development"--everything you need to teach 7 key word problem strategies!

This resource came to be because for years I felt that I did not invest enough time in explicitly teaching problem solving strategies. I gave my students a TON of word problems…but I think I made too many assumptions that they had a decent “tool box” of strategies to pull from. This year I vowed to be better…and to start off by modeling and clearly teaching these 7 strategies—in hopes that students would begin to internalize them and draw upon them in future problems. These problems are a fantastic way to work on the Standards for Mathematical Practice!

This set of 49 task cards (7 each for 7 different problem solving strategies) supports rigorous state standards and quality instruction. It is also available in a print format HERE, this version has all the same problems in a fun, digital slide show format! If you are a person who is using Google and are either projecting work or sharing work to students on computers or Chromebooks, this resource is perfect for you! Are you looking to engage your students? This is a great way to incorporate technology, save paper resources, and deliver quality instruction.

Each problem appears on a different slide. Once you get the file, you make a copy of it (SO easy to do with Google!) and then you are free to get creative! Assign the whole deck to students to work on over the course of a unit. Cut out a small number of slides to share with an intervention group. Assign a certain number of cards to the class to do as a part of a math workshop or guided math station. The sky is the limit--and because it's Google, students can even work at home! The best part? These cards are perfect for third and fourth grades.

*Make a list

*Guess and check

*Use objects to model

*Make a table

*Find a pattern

*Work backward

*Draw a picture

Each of the seven strategies listed above is given 5 “teaching” problems. Whether you use these as whole class problem solving experiences, partner problem solving tasks, or individual work, my hope is that you will spend time talking about each strategy and model with the given problems so students can see how YOU use the strategy in different contexts. At the end of the resource are 14 problems that are “unlabeled” and are perfect for independent practice where students select an appropriate strategy to use (and many different strategies may work!) to solve the problem and organize their work. This makes students really think and draw upon what they have learned without being coached.

I strongly recommend you check out the preview to see if this product is right for you!

Rather have it in just a "print and go" format? CLICK HERE for that version.


Looking to get more bang from your web based technologies?

Check out GOOGLE EDITIONS of many of my resources!

GOOGLE EDITION "Concept of Equals" Task Cards

GOOGLE EDITION Digital Reader's Notebook for any novel

GOOGLE EDITION Teaching Dialogue Task Cards

GOOGLE EDITION Algebra Concepts Task Cards (spring theme)


All rights reserved by ©The Teacher Studio. Purchase of this problem set entitles the purchaser the right to reproduce the pages in limited quantities for single classroom use only. Duplication for an entire school, an entire school system, or commercial purposes is strictly forbidden without written permission from the author at Additional licenses are available at a reduced price.

Total Pages
49 pages
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Look for and make use of structure. Mathematically proficient students look closely to discern a pattern or structure. Young students, for example, might notice that three and seven more is the same amount as seven and three more, or they may sort a collection of shapes according to how many sides the shapes have. Later, students will see 7 × 8 equals the well remembered 7 × 5 + 7 × 3, in preparation for learning about the distributive property. In the expression 𝑥² + 9𝑥 + 14, older students can see the 14 as 2 × 7 and the 9 as 2 + 7. They recognize the significance of an existing line in a geometric figure and can use the strategy of drawing an auxiliary line for solving problems. They also can step back for an overview and shift perspective. They can see complicated things, such as some algebraic expressions, as single objects or as being composed of several objects. For example, they can see 5 – 3(𝑥 – 𝑦)² as 5 minus a positive number times a square and use that to realize that its value cannot be more than 5 for any real numbers 𝑥 and 𝑦.
Attend to precision. Mathematically proficient students try to communicate precisely to others. They try to use clear definitions in discussion with others and in their own reasoning. They state the meaning of the symbols they choose, including using the equal sign consistently and appropriately. They are careful about specifying units of measure, and labeling axes to clarify the correspondence with quantities in a problem. They calculate accurately and efficiently, express numerical answers with a degree of precision appropriate for the problem context. In the elementary grades, students give carefully formulated explanations to each other. By the time they reach high school they have learned to examine claims and make explicit use of definitions.
Use appropriate tools strategically. Mathematically proficient students consider the available tools when solving a mathematical problem. These tools might include pencil and paper, concrete models, a ruler, a protractor, a calculator, a spreadsheet, a computer algebra system, a statistical package, or dynamic geometry software. Proficient students are sufficiently familiar with tools appropriate for their grade or course to make sound decisions about when each of these tools might be helpful, recognizing both the insight to be gained and their limitations. For example, mathematically proficient high school students analyze graphs of functions and solutions generated using a graphing calculator. They detect possible errors by strategically using estimation and other mathematical knowledge. When making mathematical models, they know that technology can enable them to visualize the results of varying assumptions, explore consequences, and compare predictions with data. Mathematically proficient students at various grade levels are able to identify relevant external mathematical resources, such as digital content located on a website, and use them to pose or solve problems. They are able to use technological tools to explore and deepen their understanding of concepts.
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.
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.


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