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In this action research study of my classroom of 7th grade mathematics, I investigated whether the use of decoding would increase the students’ ability to problem solve. I discovered that knowing how to decode a word problem is only one facet of being a successful problem solver. I also discovered that confidence, effective instruction, and practice have an impact on improving problem solving skills. Because of this research, I plan to alter my problem solving guide that will enable it to be used by any classroom teacher. I also plan to keep adding to my math problem solving clue words and share with others. My hope is that I will be able to explain my project to math teachers in my district to make them aware of the importance of knowing the steps to solve a word problem.