Worry Problems
www.MaxLearning.Net 
Wordstory problems cause more grief to studentsand teachersthan
almost any other type. The
problem
with word problems is that they're
written in
words!
Words can have multiple meanings and
be quite
vague compared to exact math symbols.
But once you learn their secrets,
solving word problems can be as
fun as solving any puzzle. And in
a practical sense, solving
reallife problems is what math is all
about! 
Topic 
Text 
Video 
Worry Problems
Slides
Translate words to
math, convert units of measure,
solve 2 equations with 2 unknowns,
and discover cool techniques to
solve percent and rate problems.
These Slides are suitable for short
lessons and classroom projection. 
8 pages 

Word Problems from Algebra
Antics Book
Variety of
Freeform, Geometric, Travel,
Financial, Work, Mixture, and
Conversion problems. Workedout
examples and solution strategies.
Problems to solve. Answer Key.
Extracted from Algebra Antics
(p.6178) 
19 pages 

Solution Strategies 
I.D.E.A.S.
* Identify, Draw,
Equate, Acquire, Solve
to take the worry out of
wordstory problems!
* Organize IDEAS into a solution
structure.
* Test for
Reasonableness: TRash check your
answers. 
3 pages 

Words to Math
English and Math are like foreign
languages. To create freeform equations, you must translate often
imprecise words into precise math
symbols. 
5 pages 

Unit Analysis
Set up problems so
they'll yield the
requested unit of measure.
* What am I solving for?
* Which unit of measure goes in
the Numerator?
* Which unit of measure goes in
the Denominator? 
3 pages 

Problem Analysis
Determine if you've
been given enough information to
solve a
problem.
Analyze proportional
relationships between variables.
* Equations and Unknowns
(1EqUnk, 2Eq2Unk...)
* Direct vs. Inverse
Proportionality 
3 pages 

Problem Types
* Freeform: You
create equations from the words in
the problem.
* Standard: You use predefined
equations for Proportion, Conversion,
Rate, Percent,
& BlendedUnit
problems.
(Solutions for sample problems
will appear in the following
lessons.) 
6 pages 

Freeform Problems
Create
equations by converting words to
math. 
* Generic
Freeform Problems
* Age Problems: Find relative
ages of people.
* Numerical Problems: Find
numbers, digits,
digitvalues. 


Proportion Problems: Q/K = q/k [kwikkwik]
Compare ratios of related items. 
Q = q
Quantity =
quantity
K
k
Kwantity
kwantity
* Q/K=q/k is the parent of
Conversion, Q=RK, and Q=PK
problems.
* Use Q/K = q/k [kwikkwik] for 2
items.
* Use Q/K = q/uac/k [kwikkwak]
for 3 or more items. 
5 pages 

Conversion Problems
Convert one unit of
measure to a related unit of
measure. 
* Q/K=q/k
Conversion
* Conversion Twin Magic Hat Trick
* Conversion Twin Stack Attack
* Conversion Twin Chain 
3 pages 

Rate Problems: Q=RK [kyuraak]
Compare items whose ratio forms a
third item. 
Travel
* Distance = Rate ● Time
[D=RT dirt]
*
Average
Rate; Catch Up; Meet in Between;
Move Apart. * Distance =
Mileage ● Volume [D=MV] 


Work
* Work = Rate ● Time [W=RT
wort]
* Work_{1} + Work_{2}
= Work_{total}
* Wage = Rate ● Time 


Cost
* Cost = Price/unit ● Number
[C=PN coupon]
* Cost_{1}
+ Cost_{2} = Cost_{mix} 


Percent Problems:
Q=PK
[kyupik]
Compare items where one is part of
another. 
PercentOf
Problems where one quantity is a
percent of another. [Q=PK kyupik]
* What is 20% of 400?; 80 is what
percent of 400?; 80 is 20% of
what?
Problems where percent is greater
than 100. [Q=K+PK kwikpik]
* What is 120% of 400?; 480 is
what percent of 400?; 480 is 120%
of what? 
5 pages 

Interest
* Interest = Rate
● Principal ● time
[I=RPt I
reaped] 


Mixture
* Volume = Amount
● Total [V=AT
vat]
* Volume_{1 }+ Volume_{2}
= Volume_{mix} 


Markup / Discount / Change
*
New = Old + Markup ● Old
[N=O+MO nohmoh]
*
New = Old – Discount ● Old
[N=ODO
nohdoh]
*
Percent Change = (New – Old) / Old
[P=(NO)/O
pihnohkeeoh] 


BlendedUnit Problems:
Q=Kk
[kyukik]
Compare
items whose product forms a
third
item. 
* Quantity =
Kwantity
● kwantity
* Q_{UNITunit}
= K_{U}_{NIT}
● k_{unit}
* Examples: workertime,
persontime, kilowatthours,
footpounds 

