Situation Types for Operations in Word Problems

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The tables below show the 'situation types' or the categories of word problems required by the Standards in which the given numbers and the unknowns are in a variety of configurations. These are excerpted from the progression document, K, Counting and Cardinality; K–5, Operations and Algebraic Thinking.

The first table shows distinct types of addition and subtraction situations: add to, take from, put together/take apart, and compare. Practice with word problems begins simply in kindergarten, but students must leave grade 2 with a strong command of all fifteen situation types within 100.

The second table shows distinct types of multiplication and division situations: equal groups of objects, arrays of objects, and compare. Students begin word problems with these situations in grade 3 and continues through grade 5. Although students initially learn and solve the situation types with whole numbers, this work progresses into word problems involving all rational numbers as well.

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