The Fine Art of Solving Story Problems Continues!

Last month, I blogged about acquainting children with story problems in a way that really isolates the difficulties – a key concept in Montessori curriculum design and material making.  In that blog, I talked about introducing the keywords often found in story problems first, as a focused card-sorting activity.  After the children are facile with sorting keywords, then they can sort stories containing the keywords and finally, they can set up and solve rudimentary problems.

As a follow-on to that, I have created stories that are just a bit more challenging.  They reinforce math facts while venturing into true story problems.  Each story also reinforces curricular learning that is most typically pursued in Montessori elementary classrooms so that while working on the isolated skill of solving story problems, children are building and reinforcing their knowledge of biology, astronomy, geography, geometry, grammar and more.  My philosophy is that we Montessori educators don’t have enough time in the day to teach everything that we wish we could, so we really can’t afford to single-dip when we could be double-dipping!

The next step in this sequence is to extend this into whole number operations.  I have already started writing cross-curricular story problems that incorporate authentic facts and data into problems that lead children to static and dynamic work in each of the four operations!    I am excited to complete this series of problem cards!

I hope that each of you is coming to the end of a wonderful school year.  If there is something that you really wish you had for your classroom for next year, please write to me at


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