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Many students have difficulty organizing all the information in a word problem. By using a checklist it allowed the students to follow a step-by-step process that forced them to be more organized in their thinking and understanding. Checklists can be created with the students or by the teacher. They can also be adjusted and modified in various ways.
I created a checklist to be used to solve word problems. I first taught the checklist in a small group setting through modeling and practice. Students had access to these checklists at all times. I even put the checklists into sheet protectors so they could re-use them daily. 
An important part of my checklist was having students create a t-chart. The t-chart was a way for students to identify the information in the problem in an organized way. Subsequently, I felt it was simple for them to create on their own and would help them identify the key elements of a word problem. Eventually the checklist was faded but students continued to make the t-chart when solving word problems.