Use the Magic Triangle for Distance, Speed, Time, Word Problems

I love this visual for solving distance (d), speed (s) and time (t) word problems. This image is easily remembered and it’s simple to use. Have students draw a triangle and put in the letters in alphabetical order.  Add the multiplication sign and try some examples.

Try this problem: Joe can run 3 mph.(speed) If he ran at that speed for 6 miles (distance), how long would it take? (time). Cover up the part of the triangle that will be the answer. (Cover the “t” for time). Now we can visualize the problem as “d” divided by “s”. Replace the letters with the correct numbers and solve the problem. Solve  again by changing the unknown for speed and then distance. Check out this video showing more examples of the Speed Magic Triangle.

Remember, 65% of the population are visual learners. They need to “see” the method for solving the problem. All the analyzing in the world won’t help unless they can store it in their brain visually.