Math Teaching Helpers – Using a picture to solve a problem

31 May


I am a very process oriented person and I like to jot down tips/points that I use to explain concepts to my kids so that when the next one comes along to a concept I don’t have to start from scratch.



Grade 3


Using a picture to solve a problem



We’ve recently gone over this in our textbook and I jotted down some notes so that when the next 3rd grader comes along, insha Allah, I could refer to them.


  • Explain to student that sometimes it is helpful to draw pictures to help solve problems. I explained that I sometimes use pictures to help me solve everyday problems.


  • Read the whole problem through. Have student determine what it is he is looking for/trying to find.


  • Go back and read ONE sentence at a time and draw only that information before going on to the next part.


  • Tell student that pictures do not have to be artistic quality and that simple shapes or symbols will do. Emphasize to student that details are not important.


    • Example: To find the number of rose bushes, a student might simply make an “r” instead of drawing detailed roses. Emphasize to student that details are not important.


  • After student draws the picture, have him go back and see if the picture matches the problem.


  • Have student solve the problem. Encourage him to look for patterns, and shortcuts.


  • Have student check answer and see if it makes sense.


    Example problems:


  • At the masjid, there are four rows of prayer rugs with seven rugs in each row.

    Behind those rows, there are two rows of five prayer rugs. How many prayer rugs are there in all?


  • At the masjid, there are 4 long shelves for shoes. On the first shelf, there are six pairs of shoes. On the second there are seven pairs of shoes, on the third shelf there are nine pairs of shoes, and on the fourth shelf there are two pairs of shoes. How many pairs of shoes are there in all?


  • A building has six stories. On the first and third stories, there are 4 windows. On the second and fourth stories, there are five windows and on the fifth and sixth stories, there are 3 windows. How many windows are there in all?


  • At the masjid, there are many copies of the Quraan in a book case. On one shelf, there are four copies. On another shelf, there are 5 copies. On the last shelf, there are six copies. How many copies of the Quraan are there in all?


  • At a clothing store, there are four racks of women’s clothes. On one rack, there are three black hijabs. On the second rack, there are six green hijabs. On the third rack, there are two brown hijabs, and on the fourth rack there are 3 blue hijabs. How many hijabs are there in all?


  • At an Eid party, there were yummy goodies served on three trays. On the first tray, there were six crescent shaped cookies and five masjid shaped cookies. On the second tray, there were four prayer rug shaped cookies and six star shaped cookies. On the last tray, there were eight crescent shaped cookies and four kabah shaped cupcakes. How many treats were there in all?



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Posted by on May 31, 2007 in Math: Teaching Tips


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