1st Edition

Math Problem Solving in Action
Getting Students to Love Word Problems, Grades 3-5

ISBN 9781138206441
Published February 1, 2017 by Routledge
188 Pages 179 B/W Illustrations

USD $34.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

In this new book from popular math consultant and bestselling author Dr. Nicki Newton, you’ll learn how to help students become more effective and confident problem solvers. Problem solving is a necessary skill for the 21st century but can be overwhelming for both teachers and students. Dr. Newton shows how to make word problems more engaging and relatable, how to scaffold them and help students with math language, how to implement collaborative groups for problem solving, how to assess student progress, and much more.

Topics include:

  • Incorporating problem solving throughout the math block, connecting problems to students’ real lives, and teaching students to persevere;
  • Unpacking word problems across the curriculum and making them more comprehensible to students;
  • Scaffolding word problems so that students can organize all the pieces in doable ways;
  • Helping students navigate the complex language in a word problem;
  • Showing students how to reason about, model, and discuss word problems;
  • Using fun mini-lessons to engage students in the premise of a word problem;
  • Implementing collaborative structures, such as math literature circles, to engage students in problem solving;
  • Getting the whole school involved in a problem-solving challenge to promote schoolwide effort and engagement; and
  • Incorporating assessment to see where students are and help them get to the next level.

Each chapter offers examples, charts, and tools that you can use immediately. The book also features an action plan so that you can confidently move forward and implement the book’s ideas in your own classroom. Free accompanying resources are provided on the author's website, www.drnickinewton.com.

Table of Contents



Meet the Author




Chapter 1: Real Stories, Deep Understanding

Chapter 2: The Basic Framework

Chapter 3: Problem Types Across the Curriculum

Chapter 4: Structures to Scaffold Success

Chapter 5: The Language of Word Problems

Chapter 6: Reasoning about Problems

Chapter 7: Modeling Thinking

Chapter 8: Mini-Lessons: Springboards into Great Word Problem Premises

Chapter 9: Math Literature Problem Solving Circles and Other Collaborative Activities

Chapter 10: Schoolwide Efforts

Chapter 11: Assessment

Chapter 12: Action Plan

View More



Dr. Nicki Newton has been an educator for 28 years, working both nationally and internationally, with students of all ages. She has worked on developing Math Workshop and Guided Math Institutes around the country. She is also an avid blogger (www.guidedmath.wordpress.com), tweeter (@drnickimath), and Pinterest pinner (www.pinterest.com/drnicki7).


"Dr. Newton’s book offers a practical way to improve problem solving with students. The clear explanations of problem types and the example problems, websites, and templates are excellent resources for teachers."

--Tracy Easterling, Instructional Technology Coach and Math/Science Curriculum Specialist for Bristol Tennessee City Schools, TN


"This book provides the most comprehensive explanations and examples that I have seen for teaching problem solving. I can see exactly how I would build workshops around the content in the book. I especially appreciate the focus on assessment which is rarely included in problem solving resources. I love the practical strategies that this book offers and have not seen another problem solving book like this ever. It will really fill a gap in the market and better equip teachers to meet the expectations of standards."

-- Alison Mello, Director of Curriculum K-8 Math/Science, Foxborough Public Schools, MA