How do you use patterns to solve word problems?
There may be different useful "patterns" for different types of problems. The most common problem for students converting "word problems" (the kind we REALLY have everyday) into "math problems" or equations is identifying the essential parts of the problem.
Setting up a simple table of terms can help to identify both the essential terms of any problem and what "conversion" ratios or terms may be needed. Start with a list of what you KNOW, and then list the thing that you need to determine. Using the tabular format you can set up the "knowns" and "unknowns" to result in the "Dimension" of the final desired answer.