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Classroom Resource

Solving Two-Step Word Problems

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In third grade, students will solve two-step word problems using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. For example: There were ten adults and five children at the movies. Each adult ticket costs $8.00 and each child ticket costs $3.00. What is the total cost of all the tickets? The video demonstrates how to solve this problem.

    Mathematics (2019) Grade(s): 3

    Determine and justify solutions for two-step word problems using the four operations and write an equation with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Determine reasonableness of answers using number sense, context, mental computation, and estimation strategies including rounding.

    Unpacked Content

    Unpacked Content



    • Unknown quantity
    • Mental computation
    • Estimation
    • Variable
    • Reasonableness
    • Rounding
    • Expression
    • Equation


    Students know:
    • Characteristics of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
    • Strategies for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
    • Strategies for mental computation and estimating sums, differences, products, and quotients.


    Students are able to:
    • Use a variety of strategies to solve two-step word problems involving all four operations.
    • Write an equation to represent the problem context, and use a symbol for the unknown quantity.
    • Justify strategy and solutions using mathematical vocabulary.
    • Determine and justify reasonableness of solutions using mental computation strategies and estimation strategies.


    Students understand that:
    • Mathematical problems can be solved using a variety of strategies, models, and representations.
    • Contextual situations represented by multiplication and division.
    • Reasonableness of solutions can be evaluated by using estimation strategies.
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