Reading Comprehension Strategies for Mathematics Instruction Sample Essay

For excessively many pupils. mathematics has little or no connexion to their real-world experience. Previously. I thought that this stemmed chiefly from a deficiency of apprehension of mathematical constructs. While that lack surely is an of import factor. I am going more positive that pupils don’t appreciate the power of mathematics mostly because of an inability to stand for. visualise and pattern word jobs.

Research has found that pupils solve math word jobs utilizing one of two general methods: direct interlingual rendition or job mold. Less successful job convergent thinkers normally utilize the direct interlingual rendition attack. Students identify Numberss and cardinal relational footings in the job statement. Over the old ages. pupils have learned that certain cardinal words indicate what computational operation should be used in a word job. A solution program is developed by combing the Numberss and the cardinal footings. In other words the pupil straight translates the cardinal proposition in the job statement into a set of calculations. Due to its algorithmic nature. this method has garnered monikers such as “compute foremost. believe later” and figure grabbing ( Hegarty. Mayer. & A ; Monk. 1995 ) .

Successful job convergent thinkers are more likely to utilize a job theoretical account attack to work out word jobs. In this method. the job statement is translated into a mental theoretical account of the state of affairs described in the job. This leads to an object-based representation of the job instead than a proposition based representation of the job ( Hegarty et al. . 1995 ) .

See how these two methods might be used to reply the undermentioned mathematics job: “At Lucky. butter costs 65 cents per stick. This is 2 cents less per stick than butter at Vons. If you need to purchase 4 sticks of butter. how much will you pay at Vons? ” A pupil might travel through the undermentioned stairss to falsely get at an reply utilizing the direct interlingual rendition method. The pupil would delegate 65 cents to the cost of Lucky butter and would delegate 4 to the figure of sticks of butter needed. The pupil would acknowledge the keyword lupus erythematosus. which normally indicates minus. The pupil would utilize this falsely identified relationship to calculate the cost of Vons butter as 63 cents by deducting 2 from 65. Finally. the pupil would multiply this measure by 4 to get at the concluding. wrong cost of four sticks of butter at Vons ( Hegarty et al. . 1995 ) .

However. a pupil utilizing the job theoretical account attack would be more likely to build a right representation of the job and would be more likely to catch arithmetic errors during the computational procedure. After reading the job statement. the pupil would mentally make an object to stand for the job. Using the same illustration. the pupil might mentally put the monetary values for Lucky and Vons butter on a figure line. The monetary value for Lucky butter would be placed at 65 cents. Since the job statement indicates that Lucky butter is 2 cents less than Vons butter. the monetary value for Vons butter must be placed two units above the monetary value for Lucky on the mental figure line. With this mental representation. the job convergent thinker is better equipped to be after an arithmetic solution. Furthermore. the pupil is far more likely to detect a computational mistake. If a pupil calculated the cost of Vons butter to be 63 cents. they would acknowledge this computation is wrong because they already visualized the monetary value of Vons butter as being 2 units above the monetary value of Lucky butter on the figure line ( Hegarty et al. . 1995 ) .

With this cognition in head. instructors must place reading comprehension schemes that can be employed to force pupils toward the job theoretical account attack for work outing word jobs. The remainder of this paper will discourse methods that have been used to scaffold pupils in this way.

Before pupils can decently build a theoretical account of a word job. they must cognize how to cover with the vocabulary in the written statement. The linguistic communication used in mathematics jobs can be broken into three classs: math vocabulary. procedural vocabulary. and descriptive vocabulary. Math vocabulary refers to footings that are specific to the math subject. Examples include box-and-whisker secret plan or perimeter. Some math vocabulary words. such as beginning. might hold a different significance in another context. Procedural vocabulary words – estimation. study. or predict – are footings that indicate what a pupil needs to make to work out the word job. It is of import that pupils are taught the significance of these words. non stairss that should be used if they see these words in a job. Such direction would merely take to more direct interlingual rendition job convergent thinkers ( DiGisi & A ; Fleming. 2005 ) .

The 3rd class of vocabulary. descriptive vocabulary. can be peculiarly disturbing for ELL pupils. These words provide the context in which the job is framed. but are non needfully important for work outing the job. For illustration. a pupil might be asked to cipher the mean figure of granola bars eaten per twelvemonth based on a set of informations. If an ELL pupil is unfamiliar with the term “granola bar” they might jump the full job. To battle this state of affairs. lessons can be taught in which pupils solve word jobs after first covering up the descriptive words in the job statement. After given clip for contemplation. most ELL pupils conclude that they don’t needfully necessitate to understand every descriptive word in a job understatement to understand the construct of the undertaking ( DiGisi & A ; Fleming. 2005 ) .

If pupils understand the vocabulary in a job statement. they at least have the tools to take out a word job. In other subjects. complete readers must larn how to sift and filtrate information down to its most indispensable elements. However. readers of a math text “need to spread out and unstuff meaning” ( Fuentes. 1998 ) . The usage of in writing organisers is one scheme that can be used to assist pupils spread out a math job into an object-based representation. The appendix contains a sample of a in writing organiser that has been shown in action research to increase comprehension of math word jobs among urban high school algebra pupils ( Kuzniewski. Sanders. Smith. Swanson. & A ; Urich. 1998 ) .

Furthermore. pupils should be instructed to make their ain tabular arraies. graphs and charts while trying to work out or stand for a job. These procedures help pupils to enter and reorganise their thought ( Fuentes. 1998 ) . ELL students’ public presentation on standardised trial word jobs increased after focussed direction utilizing similar reading comprehension schemes. Students were encouraged to pull a diagram or concept a tabular array to assist synthesise information in the job statement ( DiGisi & A ; Fleming. 2005 ) .

Once reading comprehension schemes have been selected. they must be implemented efficaciously in the schoolroom. Harmonizing to Cheryl Chun. read aloud and think aloud schemes have been found to be effectual in patterning comprehension schemes. The cardinal thought is non to learn pupils what to believe. but to pattern the thought processes that effectual job convergent thinkers use. One format that can be used is “Read Aloud. Think Aloud. Talk Aloud. ” First. it is of import that the teacher selects one job work outing scheme to pattern while reading the job. The instructor will read the job aloud and halt at identified countries in the text. At this point. the teacher will discourse what they are actively believing while they read the job. After the scheme is modeled. pupils should be given a opportunity to read a job and pattern the scheme. It is important that pupils so verbally discourse how they used the scheme to further gestate the procedure ( Personal phone conversation. May 14. 2007 ) .

As pupils pattern take outing math word jobs they must pass on their thought in a assortment of different ways. Math diaries used in concurrence with in writing organisers have proven to be effectual in bettering reading comprehension among algebra pupils in the urban scene ( Kuzniewski. et. Al. 1998 ) . Student communicating should include non merely reading and composing. but besides listening and speech production ( Fuentes. 1998 ) .

Finally. concerted groups can besides be used to ease comprehension during the job work outing procedure. By working in groups. pupils are required to discourse their thought while work outing jobs. Concerted grouping encourages pupils to use several different schemes for work outing a math word job. Over clip pupils will go more skilled at choosing the best representation for the job. It is of import that clear outlooks are set for behaviour and engagement. Students should be given different functions within the group and group work tonss should be given based on a clearly defined rubric for merchandise and procedure ( Kuzniewski et al. 1998 ) .

Ultimately. the end of mathematics direction should be to make independent minds that harness the power of mathematics to understand and better the universe in which they live. As the urban mathematics instructor is progressively pressured by predictable standardised testing. I believe that pupils will be progressively encouraged to utilize direct interlingual rendition to work out jobs. In the long tally. this will take merely to impoverished minds. Mathematics direction must do a strong move towards the job theoretical account attack to foster the job work outing heads of the following coevals.

Plants Cited

DiGisi. L. . & A ; Fleming. D. ( 2005 ) . Literacy Specialists in Math Class! Closing the Achievement Gap on State Math Assessments. Voices from the Middle. 13. 48-52.

Fuentes. P. ( 1998 ) . Reading Comprehension in Mathematics. The Clearing House. 72. 81-88.

Hegarty. M. . Mayer. R. . & A ; Monk. C. ( 1995 ) . Comprehension of Arithmetic Word Problems: A Comparison of Successful and Unsuccessful Problem Solvers. Journal of Educational Psychology. 87. 18-32.

Kuzniewski. F. . Sanders. M. . Smith. G. . Swanson. S. . & A ; Urich. C. ( 1998 ) Using Multiple Intelligences to Increase Reading Comprehension in English and Math. Action research undertaking. Saint Xavier University. Chicago. IL.

Appendix
An illustration of a in writing organiser used to assist high school algebra pupils understand math word jobs.

( Kuzniewski et al. . 1998 )