5 Summary

This unit focused on learning to work with word problems in their widest sense. It has discussed the relationship between contexts and the mathematics that can model that context, and some of the barriers that students encounter in understanding this. To overcome these barriers this unit suggested some ways to help your students to read and write mathematical problems. Using the idea of mathematical modelling helps your students understand that word problems are models and not necessarily real representations of everyday life.

Working with word problems in this way can give meaning to mathematics based on the student’s personal experience and can therefore make them active participants in their own learning as they use mathematics to model their own situations.

Pause for thought

Identify three ideas that you have used in this unit that would work when teaching other topics. Make a note now of two topics you have to teach soon where those ideas can be used with some small adjustments.

4 Modelling a context mathematically