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Reading Comprehension Strategies in the Math Classroom

comprehension strategies I’m sure you have heard the phrase “Reading is thinking.” In fact this statement is the absolute truth! This school year about one third of my students are ELLs or English Language Learners. Having so many ELLs requires that I focus on reading comprehension as well as math concepts. I can’t say that I am pro at finding a balance between the 2 because this is something that I haven’t done before. Well last week I implemented The Predictor, the first role in Reciprocal Teaching.  The students were required to discuss the problem using the the Read part of our problem solving strategy, Read Draw Write and then make a prediction with evidence.

  1. Read the problem and identify any words that the group members do not understand
  2. Circle the numbers that were going to be used in the problem
  3. Box in any words that tell you how to solve the problem
  4. Underline the question
  5. Make a prediction with evidence using a t-chart     comprehension group work

After discussing the “Read” part of the problem the student who has the role of the predictor makes a prediction by saying, ” My prediction is _______” and “My evidence is _________.” After The Predictor makes his/her prediction any  group member can agree or disagree with The Predictor by stating their own evidence.
It was very interesting to see the students interact with each other because they really were dissecting and thinking about the problem. One of the problems had the word approximately in it and the students asked me what does approximately mean. I was really amazed at the level of awareness that making a predictions created when students were completing the problem. Prior to implementing making predictions most of the time the students wouldn’t ask any questions about words that they didn’t know or anything else.
Using Reciprocal Teaching as my comprehension strategy for math seems like it is going help my students think through the word problems and become better problem solvers. Finding a balance between the reading comprehension may takes some time but seeing the improvement gives me hope. I’m anxious to see what happens when I implement The Questioner next week!

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