Math is all about problem solving. One of the best ways to help children learn math is to present them with a problem in which they have to devise their own strategies to find the solution(s). There is usually more than 1 way to solve math problems and children need the opportunity to discover shortcuts and their own algorithms to determine the appropriate solution, they should also justify their solution(s).

The following math word problems are specific for children in the sixth grade and are divided into the main math cagegories: Number Concepts, Patterns and Algebra, Geometry and Measurement, Data Management and Probability. Children should be involved in problem solving activities every day. Problems for second grade students should be read to them. Students should also be able to describe why their solutions work or how they know it's the right solution. My favorite question to children is 'how do you know'. When they have to explain how they arrived at their answer, you immediately know the learning that has taken place.

**Patterns and Algebra**

Kelly's classroom organized an e-Pal club. 11 people joined the club. Each of of them sent an email to each of the members of the club. How many emails were actually sent? How do you know? Ticket sales for the bake sale were underway. Four people bought tickets on the first day of sales, twice as many people bought tickets on the second day and each day afterwards twice as many people bought tickets. How many tickets were sold after 16 days?

**Data Management and Probability**

Pet Parade: Mr. James has 14 cats, dogs and guinea pigs. What are all the combinations he could have?

How many different types of pizza can you make with the following toppings: pepperoni, tomatoes, bacon, onions and green peppers? Show your answer.

**Number Concepts**

Sam bought 8 ball caps, one for each of her eight friends, for $8.95 each. The cashier charged her an additional $12.07 in sales tax. She left the store with a measely $6.28. How much money did Sam start with?

**Geometry and Measurement.**

Watch your favorite television show from beginning to end. Time each of the commercials and determine the percentage of commercial time for the entire show. Now determine the percentage of time the actual show is. What is the fraction of commercials?

Two squares are beside each other. One square has 6 times the lenght of the other square, how many times greater is the area of the larger square? How do you know?