Word Problems for Multiplication and Division: 9 CGI Problem Types (Grades 3-4)

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Beyond Traditional Math
Grade Levels
2nd - 5th
Formats Included
  • PDF
162 pages
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Beyond Traditional Math


Incorporate problem solving into your math block with 90 practice word problems that are based on CGI (Cognitively Guided Instruction) problem types. These multiplication and division problem types are in the Common Core State Standards and include:

1: Equal Groups – Unknown Product
2: Equal Groups – Group Size Unknown (PD)
3: Equal Groups – Number of Groups Unknown (MD)
4: Arrays of Objects – Unknown Product
5: Arrays of Objects – Unknown Factor A
6: Arrays of Objects – Unknown Factor B
7: Arrays of Objects (Using Columns/Rows Language) - Unknown Product
8: Arrays of Objects (Using Columns/Rows Language) - Unknown Factor A
9: Arrays of Objects (Using Columns/Rows Language) - Unknown Factor B

In this set you will find 10 word problems of each of the above types. That makes 90 word problems total. I use the first and last problem as a pre and post test to measure student growth, as well as to differentiate instruction. Instructions for how to do this are included!

The problems are real world, are easy for students to relate to, and are kept simple on purpose. They are meant to introduce students to the concepts of multiplication and division, using vocabulary to help them use manipulatives and visualize strategies. It allows for ample practice opportunities, and embeds math fact learning within the problems.

This resource includes:

1. Introduction
2. Table of contents for easy navigation between problem types
3. 90 word problems in three formats: two per page for easy printing as a booklet, several on a page for cutting and pasting into math journals, and full page problems to allow space for the use of hands on materials.
4. Data gathering template (contact info to be emailed an Excel template)
5. Tips for teaching the word problems to students
6. Answer key with check box to track which problems you have done (if you aren't doing them in order)

While the word problems are quite simple, they can still be challenging for students when they are first introduced to multiplication and division, and especially for students that struggle with learning these concepts. The problems are appropriate for third graders (and perhaps struggling fourth graders). Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) is a research based way of teaching problem solving.

I use these daily for about a week. Then I introduce an open ended word problem that is much more difficult, complex and includes many steps. The open ended problems will often use multiplication or division AND include other concepts (fractions, decimals, area, perimeter) to challenge my students in other ways.

Feel free to check out my open ended problems as well!

Open Ended Word Problems (My best seller!)
Open Ended Problems - Set 2
Holiday Version - On Stage! Open Ended Performance Task
Presidential Birthday Statisticians: Open Ended Performance Task
Design a Dream Bedroom: Open Ended Performance Task
Open Ended Math Journal: 125 Prompts to Promote Deep Thinking
Total Pages
162 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Year
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Use multiplication and division within 100 to solve word problems in situations involving equal groups, arrays, and measurement quantities, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.


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