Conquering Word Problems
Guide


Word Problems are a specific type of problem where a “real life” situation is presented, almost entirely in words, and requires the use of mathematics to solve it.

Rationale: Understanding the components of a word problem is crucial to the success of a student. Learning how to properly approach word problems not only gives students a way to approach a common problem, but also builds the critical thinking skills of a student, as students are forced to consider the rationale behind a problem.

Instructions: On a blank sheet of paper copy down several word problems from the assigned section. For each word problem write down what the problem is asking, what numbers are given and lastly what concepts are used to solve this problem. Be sure to cross out any unnecessary information.

Conquering Word Problems Rubric:

conquerwordprobrubric.JPG

Conquering Word Problems Example:

The school janitor is on top of the roof, cleaning off clutter, when he sees a young boy calling for the ball the boy accidentally threw on the roof. The combined height of the school and the janitor is 22 feet, while the boy is standing 15 feet from the building. How far would the ball have to travel? Find the angle the ball would have to travel to reach the boy and the angle when the ball reaches the boy.

The school janitor is on top of the roof, cleaning off clutter, when he sees a young boy calling for the ball the boy accidentally threw on the roof. The combined height of the school and the janitor is 22 feet, while the boy is standing 15 feet from the building. How far would the ball have to travel? Find the angle the ball would have to travel to reach the boy and the angle when the ball reaches the boy.

  • Note: When doing the activity there is no need to copy the problem twice then cross out the unnecessary information off of the copied problem. It is only done in this example for the sake of clarity

What the problem is asking for: The distance the ball traveled, the angle the ball is thrown, and the angle the ball reaches the boy

What numbers are given: height of school, distance boy is from building, assumption that the school and the ground form a 90 degree angle.

What concepts could be used to solve this problem: Pythagorean Theorem, Total Angles of a triangle= 180 degrees, Trig Functions.
wordproblembreakdownex.jpg

Pythagorean theorem: a2+b2=c2

(15) 2 + (22) 2=c2 = 709
√( c2) = √(709)
c=26.6 Feet

Sinθ= Opposite/Hypotenuse
Θ= Sin-1 (Opposite/Hypotenuse)

Sin-1 (22/22.6)= 55.8 Degrees

180 - 55.8 - 90 =34.2 Degrees

Distance the ball travels: 26.6 Feet
Angle of the ball flight: 55.8 degrees
Angle the ball reaches the boy: 34.2 degrees






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