The school year has begun and I’m like a kid in a candy store!
For years I have not had to focus on reading in my math classroom. Recently I have noticed that the reading levels of students has decreased. So, this summer I decided that I was going to apart of the solution. I’m fortunate to have a background in reading because I began my teaching career in 1st grade. This knowledge of reading has been very beneficial to me in creating a plan to address the literacy in my math classroom.
This year I’m teaching 4 periods of 5th grade math to students whose 1st language may or may not be English. Even though most of my students are not labeled ELL I still can tell that their English is not at the level of native English speakers. For example, when I speak figuratively most of the class doesn’t understand what I am saying. Also, I have to show not tell absolutely everything that I introduce to them because it tends to get lost in translation.
On Monday, I will attempt implement Reciprocal Teaching as a comprehension strategy for problem solving. There are 4 roles the Predictor, Questioner, Clarifier, and Summarizer. I decided to introduce the role of the Predictor first because in grades K-2 predicting is one of the before reading strategies that students learn. When approaching a word problem students tend to forget about the reading strategies that they use in their reading class. I’m not sure why this happens but I figured if used these reading strategies in my math classroom then they would make the connection that reading is reading no matter where it happens.
I will spend all of next week practicing the role of the Predictor with my students and then I will move on to the Questioner. When I think about the role of the Questioner I automatically think about making text connections. This will be one of the challenging parts of the implementation because it requires students generate questions that require them to make an inference.
I can’t wait to see the effect that Reciprocal Teaching will have on my students in my math class. If you are interested in implementing Reciprocal Teaching you can download the group role cards for problem solving in my store for FREE!
1 thought on “What’s Reading Got to Do With Math?”
Sounds like I could easily incorporate these into my high school math classroom. I hear “But this isn’t English!” when I have them write word problems, or have them use homonyms in their word problems, or use reading strategies during our Wednesday word problem days. Thank you for sharing this.