Quiz 8th-Graders With These Math Word Problems

Solving math problems can intimidate eighth-graders. It shouldn't. Explain to students that you can use basic algebra and simple geometric formulas to solve seemingly intractable problems. The key is to use the information you are given and then isolate the variable for algebraic problems or to know when to use formulas for geometry problems. Remind students that whenever they work a problem, whatever they do to one side of the equation, they need to do to the other side. So, if they subtract five from one side of the equation, they need to subtract five from the other.

The free, printable worksheets below will give students a chance to work problems and fill in their answers in the provided blank spaces. Once the students have completed the work, use the worksheets to do quick formative assessments for an entire math class.

Worksheet No. 1

Print the PDF: Worksheet No. 1

On this PDF, your students will solve problems such as:

"5 hockey pucks and three hockey sticks cost \$23. 5 hockey pucks and 1 hockey stick cost \$20. How much does 1 hockey puck cost?"

Explain to students that they'll need to consider what they do know, such as the total price of five hockey pucks and three hockey sticks (\$23) as well as the total price for five hockey pucks and one stick (\$20). Point out to students that they'll start with two equations, with each providing a total price and each including five hockey sticks.

Worksheet No. 1 Solutions

Print the PDF: Worksheet No. 1 Solutions

To solve the first problem on the worksheet, set it up as follows:

Let "P" represent the variable for "puck"
Let "S" represent the variable for "stick"
So, 5P + 3S = \$23, and 5P + 1S = \$20

Then, subtract one equation from the other (since you know the dollar amounts):

5P + 3S - (5P + S) = \$23 - \$20.

Thus:

5P + 3S - 5P - S = \$3. Subtract 5P from each side of the equation, which yields: 2S = \$3. Divide each side of the equation by 2, which shows you that S = \$1.50

Then, substitute \$1.50 for S in the first equation:

5P + 3(\$1.50) = \$23, yielding 5P + \$4.50 = \$23. You then subtract \$4.50 from each side of the equation, yielding: 5P = \$18.50.

Divide each side of the equation by 5 to yield:

P = \$3.70

Note that the answer to the first problem on the answer sheet is incorrect. It should be \$3.70. The other answers on the solution sheet are correct.

Worksheet No. 2

Print PDF: Worksheet No. 2

To solve the first equation on the worksheet, students will need to know the equation for a rectangular prism (V = lwh, where "V" equals volume, "l" equals the length, "w" equals the width, and "h" equals the height). The problem reads as follows:

"Excavation for a pool is being done in your backyard. It measures 42F x 29F x 8F. The dirt will be taken away in a truck that holds 4.53 cubic feet How many truckloads of dirt will be taken away?"

Worksheet No. 2 Solutions

Print PDF: Worksheet No. 2 Solutions

To solve the problem, first, calculate the total volume of the pool. Using the formula for the volume of a rectangular prism (V = lwh), you would have:

V = 42F x 29F x 8F = 9,744 cubic feet

Then, divide 9,744 by 4.53, or:

9,744 cubic feet ÷ 4.53 cubic feet (per tuckload) = 2,151 truckloads

You can even lighten up the atmosphere of your class by exclaiming: "You are going to have to use quite a few truckloads to build that pool."

Note that the answer on the solution sheet for this problem is incorrect. It should be 2,151 cubic feet. The rest of the answers on the solution sheet are correct.

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