One book I highly recommend for anyone who teaches math above the the fourth grade level, all the way up to doctoral students, is Writing to Teach Mathematics and Science. Connolly and Vilardi give a TON of ideas, including drawing out the problem.

Most teachers first teach with a fancy tool we like to call visualizing. Did you ever use little bears to count, coins, or any small items to help you add and subtract?

Problem-solving Tip: Visualize

Most people are visual learners, like myself. Seeing something taught vs. just hearing things helps a lot! Thus, a great need need for presentations like PowerPoint, posters, and anything visual. Why do you think teachers have boards when they teach? Visual representation helps us learn. When we see something and hear it, we’re using two of our senses. When both listening and seeing we’re more likely to retain information.

This video shows how visualizing a word problem can make it simpler to solve if you use objects to imagine amount of numbers being counted in certain problems.


Este video te enseña cómo visualizar un problema te ayuda a resolver un problema más fácilmente si usas objetos para imaginarte cantidades de números en ciertos problemas.


In our game Making Camp (which is FREE) we have lots of activities where you watch a video to refresh those webs in your brain and answer questions. Earn points by answering correctly and trade those points for items to decorate your wigwam. People of all kinds love it- especially me!

You can get Making Camp Bilingual, with 12 videos and 6 math activities, all in Spanish and English. It’s available for iPad in the App Store.

You can also get the game for Mac/ Windows or Chromebook from our website.

magnets in Spanish

Check here for another bilingual problem-solving resource – make it an easier problem.

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