Making Story Problems Meaningful and Fun

Students use Wixie to show their understanding of multiplication relating to word problems.

Student project

As an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher in Hanover County, Virginia, it's my job to help teachers integrate technology into the curriculum. When the 3rd grade teachers in Hanover County wanted to find a fun and meaningful way to show understanding of multiplication as it relates to word problems, we decided to have students author their own.

We decided that Wixie would be the perfect choice to make this happen. Students have been using Wixie with me since Kindergarten, so they are familiar with how to use the tools.

We began by giving them time to explore clip art resources in the Stickers library and stamp tool to give them lots of ideas for their problems. Students then used paper and pencil to work out the details and write their final word problems.

Students typed their story problem first and used Wixie’s tools, stickers, and stamps to create their pictures. Final products were saved to be shown as a slide show in the classroom on the LCD projector. Students also printed a copy of their story problems which we later made into class books. These books were shared among the grade level so that students could solve the problems in small groups or on their own.

Barking Dogs Sample

This lesson allowed students to put their thinking, creativity, and communication skills to work! Students were very engaged and really enjoyed creating their own individual story problems. They helped each other use the tools and find pictures. The teachers enjoyed watching their students create and show their knowledge of the multiplication process.

I have done similar story problem lessons with first- and second-grade students using addition and subtraction. These students were just as engaged as the third-graders, and the finished products were fantastic!

Jennifer Hicks

by Jennifer Hicks


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