One of my favorite things to teach is math. And, I love teaching it this time of year because this is when we start multiplication in 2nd grade. The kids are always so excited and eager to learn how to multiply. There’s just something special about multiplication.

I love to start new math content with story problems when possible and love to use them throughout the units. Story problems are also a part of our standards, but they’re also a great way to provide context and help improve understanding with math.

These examples below are after a few days of multiplication. I love seeing the variety of strategies used and love that the kids are using strategies that work for them.

This student represented the multiplication problem with an array and used the array to help him solve the problem.
This student drew out the groups to help her solve. I also love how she clearly labeled the trays to keep things organized.
This student used the combination of an array and skip counting.
And the last example used repeated addition. Love how he summed it up at the end after showing his work.
Those are just a few examples. When students are done independently solving, I pick a few to share their work with the class under the document camera. This gives them a chance to explain their thinking and also learn from each other. Story problems are done at least once a week in my classroom so that whole word problem fear is nonexistent. My kids actually enjoy doing them!
Do you use story problems to teach math?