Skill 2D
Word Problems: How many in all?

Here we review the importance of immediately recognizing what the phrase "How many in all?" represents.  Again, when a student hears this, they must immediately know that it means to use addition to find the answer.  Also, drawing a good picture of the main facts in a math problem is a critical skill to learn.  Doing this greatly improves the ability of a student to answer a math problem correctly by providing a visual "connection" between key elements in the problem.   The “refusal” of many students to draw a picture for a word problem is one of the biggest reasons for wrong answers on tests.

Listen while I read the word problem below.  Draw a picture of the main points of the problem on a piece of paper. Use this drawing to write a number sentence to answer the problem.

Mary brings 2 pencils to school.
She buys 5 more pencils.
How many pencils does Mary have in all?

Before you draw a picture to help solve the problem, tell me whether you should add or subtract to solve the problem. Why do you think that?
This question should be answered quickly and correctly, if not practice the skill.