Skip to main content


2nd Grade Math - Word Problem Clues

Clip 3/11: Word Clues Lesson - Part 1


At the opening of the lesson, Tracy Lewis re-engages students in a MARS task the students had worked on a few weeks earlier. Students are briefly asked to think about the role of a detective, since that is one of the big roles Tracy would like for them to do during this lesson.

Teacher Commentary

I open this lesson by asking my students to think about the role of a detective and the use of clues in solving problems. I have taught students that mathematicians provide "evidence" -- clues to show how they came to an answer. In my 2nd grade class this includes the use of pictures, numbers, and words. My hope is that students become more thoughtful and methodical in their approach to solving word problems. Through this re-engagement experience, my goal is for students to see how important it is for the words, numbers, and pictures in their answers to relate directly to the word problem, and more specifically to the question they are to solve. I do take the time to review the appropriate behaviors and attitudes for sharing student work. This sets the tone for a professional and respectful discussion. My students are encouraged to share their ideas or those shared during a pair-share. As students move through this process, they will find it challenging to explain each other's work and come up with ideas to improve the answers given.