Back to Module 1 Notes


Module 1-4
Problem Solving
Using the Five-Step plan

  Step 1: Using complete sentences restate the question. What are you trying to answer?

Step 2: What information do you need to solve the problem? Are there any key words? What strategy will you use to solve the problem? How many steps will it take to solve this problem?

Key Words

Addition  Subtraction
All More/Less
Together Comparing
How Many Take-away
Plus Minus
Sum Left
Multiplication Division
Times Half/Quarter etc.
Sets Into
Each-Total Each
Product Dividend/Quotient
By Fractions



Guess & Check
Draw a diagram
Look for a pattern
Reason it out
Make a table
Work backwards
Break it into steps
Make a list
Solve a related problem

Step 3: Carry out the plan. If possible estimate your answer before calculating. Do all your computations. Show all your work. If you make a table, show it! Make sure you complete all the steps in your plan.

Step 4: Answer the question in a complete sentence.

Step 5: Is your answer reasonable? Does your answer closely compare to your estimate? If not check your steps to find any errors.

Step 5 is the most important step!!