Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Candy Math Word Problems for Language Disorders

A few months ago, I was assigned to administer our state test to a small group of fourth graders.  For the most part, they were troopers and hung in there during a week of long and tedious testing.

What surprised me, though, was where they became the most frustrated.  It wasn't during reading comprehension or proofreading; it was during math word problems!  They would sigh and raise their hands for help and try to ask me questions.  I felt really sad that I couldn't help them.  They know me as the lady who gives them strategies, breaks things down, explains difficult words.  All I could do was say, "I'm sorry, I can't help you."

I decided that day that I needed to make a math product.  Something that I could use to teach the kids how to break down and understand math word problems.  There is a TON of language and vocabulary involved in math, and I know that half their battle was reading comprehension.

According to THIS article, addressing the language of math is well within the SLP's scope of practice.  Here are a few other articles that show the importance of an SLP supporting students in math:

I am so very excited to show you this new product!  Check out Candy Math Word Problems for Language Disorders!  It's based on Common Core State Standards and geared toward kids in grades 2-5.

There's a strategy cards with visuals to help kids maneuver through the problems.  I've also included some math operations key word cards.  This will help kids know which operation to (often) use when they see certain words. 

 I do explain to them, though, that not all problems are black and white, and you have to be able to understand the problem to make sure you are using the correct steps.

What's a speechie game without a super cute and colorful game board?  :)

I've also included math terminology gumdrops.  Match the word to the definition to help students understand math vocab.

There are 18 word problem comprehension cards for each grade (2-5).  Four questions are addressed on  each card: 1. What happened in the story?  2. What key words do you see?  3. What do you need to find out?  4.  How can you solve this problem?

I want my students to think about these questions whenever they go to answer a word problem in class. My LD kids need to practice breaking down the questions and implementing strategies.

The cards for each grade are color-coded for easy storage and use.  Since some of us SLPs don't consider ourselves to be "math people," I tried to go with the standards that could be easily checked with a calculator.

Of course, I included an answer key.  This is math after all.  ;)

You can grab this product at my TPT store HERE!

What do you think?  Do your kids struggle in math because of their language disorder too?


  1. This looks great! So many of the kids I see struggle with Maths language. Helen

    1. Thanks, Helen! I know math is hard. My kids performed lower on the math portion of the standardized tests than the ELA!

  2. This looks AWESOME! I added to my wishlist. Love the strategies. Can't wait to use this in September.

    1. Thanks so much! I hope you can get some good use out of it. :)

  3. I LOVE this packet!!! I am definitely keeping it on my wishlist for when I have kiddos that need to work on word problems. It's awesome!!! And I'm sharing on my FB page (which as you know by now I very rarely share things that cost money but I think its an awesome packet for SLPs AND homeschooling parents) :) Thanks girl! AWESOME!!!

    1. Thank you Maria!! That means so much! It was something that was much-needed for me! :)


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