### I often work with students that find word problems daunting. It can be confusing to know when to add and when to multiply.

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##### Do you have leftover Valentine’s Day chocolate boxes? Candy boxes are perfect for solving math problems. You can use candy boxes to easily clarify when addition is needed and when multiplication is more useful.

**IF YOU HAVE THIS TYPE OF BOX:**

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With this box you can challenge your child to figure out the total number of chocolates or squares. This box does not have uniform rows or ‘*groups*’ with the same number in each *group*. This means the best way to figure out the total is to count the squares or add up small *groups* from different areas all together. You can NOT use multiplication to figure out the total for this type of box.

**IF YOU HAVE THIS TYPE OF BOX:**

With this box you can challenge your child to find the most efficient way to figure out the total number of chocolates or squares. Counting or adding each row or column is always an option. However, the most efficient way to figure out a total number when you have rows or '*groups*' with the same number in each *group* is to use multiplication. In this case there are 4 *groups* of 4 candies in each *group*. (4x4 = 16)

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## The Rule: Always think in terms of '*GROUPS*' for math problems with the 4 basic operations(+ - x ÷) :

Addition = Combine *groups* with different numbers in each *group* to find a total.

Multiplication = Number of *groups* multiplied by the number in each *group* equals total

Subtraction = Total number minus one *group* OR One *group* minus another *group *

Division = Total number divided into *groups* equals the number in each *group*

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