### Word Problems in AnimalWatch

AnimalWatch emphasizes word problem solving. Athough word problems are often especially hard for students, mathematics educators have concluded that word problem solving is a very important part of math proficiency. Also, being able to solve word problems is a strong predictor of doing well on math achievement tests.

All the word problems in AnimalWatch involve authentic, accurate numbers and science facts about endangered species and environmental science. Each word problem includes a colorful image to illustrate the content. Students in middle school are usually very interested in the environment, and we have found that they like learning about interesting and unusual animals and habitats as they practice math.

AnimalWatch is designed to let students direct their own learning and work at their own pace. Students have three tries to solve each word problem. They receive immediate feedback after each incorrect answer to help them diagnose their error. In addition, students can look at the Help Menu to find worked examples, interactive explanations, or video lessons that are linked to the specific math topics that are needed to solve the problem. They can also view their progress through the Reports feature.