Number (mult/div)

UK Primary (3-6)

Problem solving with multiplication and division (15x15)

Lesson

When we solve 2-step problems, we approach them just like we would any other problem. First, we look for clues to help us work out what operator we will need. Words and phrases that such as 'groups of', 'altogether', 'combined' can suggest multiplication. If we see 'shared between', 'divided among', or 'separated into groups', these often indicate division.

It could also be possible that we have two parts to our problem. If so, we need to work out which we solve first. Remember the order of operations means we solve multiplication and division first, and then any addition or subtraction. Let's look for clues in some word problems, to see how we can write number problems.

Careful!

We should also read the question again, to make sure we have worked out the number problem correctly. When there are two or more parts to a question, it helps to go back and make sure we've solved the parts in the correct order.