Applying the hybrid strategy in solving mathematical word problems at the elementary school level

Siddiqah Rosli, Masitah Shahrill, Jamilah Yusof


The study was designed to assess the effectiveness of an alternative teaching approach strategy called the Hybrid Strategy. It was intended specifically in minimising the common errors made by students, which were Comprehension and Transformation errors, and aimed at helping students to perceive word problems as a story line to be completed using the Hybrid Strategy. This strategy is a step-by-step guidance to improve students’ visualisations and perceptions of mathematical word problems. The strategy incorporates the use of pictorial representations for students’ visualisation and interrogative words (who, what, where, when and how) using the mnemonic Mr. How and his 4 Warriors to prompt students’ understanding when solving 1-step and 2-step word problems. The study involved 39 Year 5 students from a local government school in the Brunei-Muara district of Brunei Darussalam. The four research instruments were used in collecting the data: diagnostic pre-test, diagnostic post-test, Newman’s Error Analysis interviews and general observations during intervention lessons. Analyses from students’ written test responses revealed that the students committed all five types of Newman error and the most common type of errors occurred in this study are Comprehension errors. Further analyses showed that the use of the Hybrid Strategy in minimising Comprehension and Transformation errors was successful. However, there was only a slight improvement of students’ scores in their post-test, contributing to only a minor extent of the effectiveness of the Hybrid Strategy used in this study. Additionally, slight positive shifts of students’ perceptions were observed towards solving mathematical word problems.


Mathematics, word problems, hybrid strategy, errors, visual representations

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Technology and Science Education, 2011-2020

Online ISSN: 2013-6374; Print ISSN: 2014-5349; DL: B-2000-2012

Publisher: OmniaScience