I usually give my students two numbers and a word so they can create their own word problem. I have given some thought to using one Wednesday a month to have them create a set of word problems to accompany a odd news piece from Yahoo or other news source. Last year, I created the problems that students solved after reading a news article.

I found an article on dogs that look like lions selling for something like $100,000 each. They calculated the cost per pound, cost per cubic inch, and cubic foot. Another had to do with the cost of a cell phone bill due to the number of texts sent. I think they calculated the per text price, the per day cost and a couple other.

The kids loved reading the articles and calculating these weird things. Next year, I'll have them start with something I've done and then I"ll spend several Wednesdays teaching them to find the articles, decide what type of questions they can ask and then calculating the answer. Once I have a good supply, I can use them in class so everyone can see what the others have done.

I work with ELL students and this should help them increase their vocabulary.