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Title of the Research: Difficulties of the Selected Grade-8 Jupiter Students of

Libon-Agro Industrial High School in Solving Word Problems in


Mathematics
Introduction
It is commonly accepted that math is difficult, obscure and of little interest
to certain people. Mathematics has importance over and above the application of
the basic numeracy skills. It is also the prime vehicle for developing students
logical thinking and higher-order cognitive skills. Mathematics also play a major
role in a number of other scientific fields, such as physics, engineering and
statistics.
Mathematics is part of our daily living. It is a mental activity in which it
consists in carrying out, one after the other, and those mental constructions which
are inductive and effective. Meaning that combining fundamental ideas one
reaches a definite result. In this connection, a positive attitude towards
Mathematics among students is an important goal of mathematics education in
many jurisdictions.
Mathematics problems are really difficult. I didnt know how to do it.
Thats why I did not finish it. I dont like math. These statements are quite
familiarly heard when students encounter a mathematical word problem.
Mathematics problem solving is not a topic but a process underlie the whole
mathematics programs which contextually help concepts and skills to be learned.

Problem solving is one of major aspects I Mathematics curriculum which


require students to apply and integrate many Mathematical concepts and skills as
well as making decisions. Problem solving as one of the learning areas in
mathematics give the researchers thought to conduct this study. Understanding the
difficulties in Mathematics skills needed in problem solving problems is one of
the ways in assisting student learning.

Objectives
Main objective:
To know the difficulties of the students in solving word problems.
Specific Objectives:

To assess the problem solving abilities of the selected Grade 8 Jupiter students

of Libon-Agro Industrial High School.


To know and analyze the root cause of student difficulties with word problems
To identify what learning competencies should be mastered by the students in

order to develop problem solving skills.


To arrive with strategies that the students need to be taught in solving word
problems.
Significance of the Study
The study will bring a significant result which would be important to the
students, teachers, and future researchers.
Students. This study will help the students to know the various strategies
that they can make use of in solving word problems.
Respondents. This study will help the respondents to cope with the
difficulties they encounter in dealing with problem solving by using the
different strategies.
Mathematics Teachers. This study will guide the teacher on how to teach
his/her students with mathematical concepts needed in developing problem
solving skills.
Future Researchers. This study will benefit the future researchers who
will conduct related study. This research will serves as their reference.

Scope and Delimitation

This study primarily dealt on finding the difficulties of the Grade 8 Jupiter
students in solving word problems in Mathematics.
The researchers decided to gather information about the cognitive abilities
of the selected students through conducting a survey. A questionnaire is in a
checklist form that contains factors that make the subject difficult. Strategies that
the teacher can make use of will be formulated after the analysis of the result.

Methodology
A descriptive research methodology was used for this study. A
combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches was used to gain a clear
understanding of students difficulties in mathematics problem solving as well as
to triangulate findings. The researchers used a questionnaire in conducting the
survey which was administered to grade 8 Jupiter students of Libon- Agro
Industrial High School. It is in a checklist form consist of questions that reflects
students experiences and views in learning mathematics.

Result
The total of 46 Grade-8 Jupiter students of Libon- Agro Industrial High School
ITEM
1
2

ALWAYS
15
14

SOMETIMES
30
29

NEVER
1
3

3
4
5

23
5
8

21
40
36

2
1
2

The table above shows the responses of the students to the first part of the
questionnaire below.
ALWAYS

SOMETIMES

NEVER

1. Did you cope up inn every


days life?
2. Do you find mathematics
subject easy?
3. Do you enjoy solving
math problem?
4. Did you experience hard
times in solving word
problems?
5. Do you find problem
solving as the hardest part
in mathematics?
The results obtained show that many of the students were able cope with
their daily lesson in Mathematics and find it as an easy subject. Half of the
students says that they enjoy solving math problems but majority of them have
hard times in doing the activity.
Majority of the students say that Algebra is the easiest area in
Mathematics. They find solving word problems in Math as difficult activity
because they used to solve problems in which the values to be operated are
already identified and given. Many of the students find patterns in answering
word problems.

Analysis

The students responses to the questionnaire checklist was were


tabulated, quantified and statistically- treated accordingly. In the first part of the
questionnaire we use the frequency count and percentage technique.
Frequency count is the frequency of occurrence of event and this was
used to determine the experiences of students in their Math lesson particularly
solving word problems. The percentage was used in quantifying the responses.
The factor that has the highest percentage which makes word problems in
Mathematics difficult was used to solve word problems with given values with
63% .Forty-one Percent (41%) of the students says that mathematics requires
higher order thinking skills. Twenty- eight (28%) of the students says that
mathematics is difficult because of the psychological attitude towards the subject.
Twenty-two percent (22%) of the respondents says that they found problem
solving difficult because of less exposure to the task. And the factor that has the
least percentage is having the difficulty in interpreting word problems.

Discussion
Difficulties solving word problems in mathematics were classified into
information, language and visual spatial skills. As seen in findings the
respondents appreciate the subject. They have the interest in learning the subject

but there were factors that hinders them to easily solve word problems such us
reading ability and poor visual spatial skills. Students find it hard to interpret
word problems. They simply pattern their solutions to the given examples of the
teacher thats why if different case was given they found it hard to arrive with the
correct answer. The learners were not able to completely understand the concept
and does not perform analysis. Limited examples and less exposure to word
problems make the task difficult. Students were not practiced to think in depth
analysis by which they can apply different mathematical concepts. The students
used to solve word problems in which the values to operate on was already
identified. The negative attitude towards the subject must be removed in the
minds of the students. Mathematical word problems requires higher order
thinking skills thats why the students must first master the important skills in
learning mathematics. Students need to be taught strategies to find the solution in
the problem like: foregrounding important characters, using visuals to create a
lasting impression and have students use manipulatives and models to solve
problems.
This study implies that, students difficulties in problem solving might
occur, caused by a deficiency in any of mathematical skills they must mastered.
The understanding of this difficulties faced by students is a strategy to respond
with this issue. Based on the understandings, it could provide a guide line for
teacher as well as researchers to plan better approaches and effective teaching
methods. Development of diagnostic instruments, modules and approaches were
essential to assist the students which will result in more meaningful teaching and

learning process. The identification of mathematics skills needed is essential to


respond with the difficulties in mathematical problem solving. These efforts could
help to be motivated managing and trying to improve skills in mathematics
problem solving. Understanding of the issue, knowledge, skills and commitment
of teachers are keys in assisting students success.