Today, I quizzed my Advanced Algebra 2 students and part of the quiz included Linear Programming problems. They did poorly. Part of it may be that we did it before Thanksgiving, and part of it may be they just don't care about word problems. As they came into class today, several of them commented something along the lines of "I hate word problems. Why do we have to do word problems?" My answer was that word problems are the application of the mathematics, and it shows you where in the "real-world" that the mathematics is used. They weren't thrilled.
Over the last few years, I have taught word problems less and less. Mainly, this has been because we have so much material to cover in Algebra 2 and I have to make sure they are prepared for state tests as well. But I also realize I am doing them a disservice. Word problems are the application. How are they going to be able to apply the mathematics?
So how do you get students to not hate word problems? I know part of the answer is along the lines of what Dan Meyer is doing, but, let's face it, it's kind of hard to do that with Algebra 2 topics. So, what's the answer? How do you get students (particularly ones who have not done much with word problems for many reasons), to not hate word problems?