# Reading comprehension and mathematical problem solving

Brenda Krick-Morales Word problems in mathematics often pose a challenge because they require that students read and comprehend the text of the problem, identify the question that needs to be answered, and finally create and solve a numerical equation. Many ELLs may have difficulty reading and understanding the written content in a word problem. Background Word problems in mathematics often pose a challenge because they require that students read and comprehend the text of the problem, identify the question that needs to be answered, and finally create and solve a numerical equation. If a student is learning English as a second language, he might not yet know key terminology needed to solve the equation. Online teacher resources Introduction For many students who struggle with mathematics, word problems are just a jumble of words and numbers. However, you can help students make sense of these problems by teaching them problem-solving processes. Indeed, as students move forward in their mathematical learning, they will need to apply problem-solving processes to more and more complex situations so they become college and career ready.

MP1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. Proficient students are able to explain the meaning of a problem and look for entry points to its solution. They are able to analyze givens, constraints, relationships, and goals.

They make conjectures about the form and the meaning of the solution, and they plan a solution pathway rather than simply jumping into a solution attempt.

## Action Research Proposal: Mathematics Problem-Solving Skill and Reading Comprehension | Owlcation

They consider analogous problems, and they try special cases and simpler forms of the original problem in order to gain insight into its solution. They monitor and evaluate their progress, and they change course if necessary. In contrast, students who struggle with mathematics may find it difficult to successfully carry out parts or, indeed, all of this complex process. Strategies to help students To solve a word problem, students need to understand its context and develop a strategy to solve it.

There are many ways to help your students build these skills and understand how to use them in specific situations see UDL Checkpoint 6. Support planning and strategy development. One strategy is to use a process chart, which can guide students as they tackle a new problem.

It helps to focus on how each step of the process supports students as they work to access the problem. An example problem-solving process is provided below: Read the problem, then reread it and highlight key words and numbers.

Reading the problem a second time with annotations helps students sort out the core information from the background noise. Draw a picture of the situation that the problem presents.

It may be helpful to first visualize a story or imagine a movie scene. Visualizing a story can be a powerful strategy that helps students create a picture or diagram of the problem. Determine the goal of the problem. Establish a strategy or write an equation to represent the picture. Estimating or approximating an answer helps students decide if they are on the right track. Solve the problem and check the reasonableness of your answer. Reminding students that it is rare to complete a problem correctly on the first attempt encourages them to embrace mistakes and errors see UDL Checkpoint 3.

Highlight patterns, critical features, big ideas, and relationships. Explain your solution method. Teacher-student interaction will help you differentiate instruction. Ask students to compare and contrast different approaches, and then summarize their responses for them.

Students should understand what works and does not work and why ; which methods are more efficient; and how models differ. It is critical that teachers elicit, value, and celebrate approaches that are different but nonetheless arrive at the correct solution.

Encourage your students to use pictures, diagrams, charts, expressions, and equations as part of the problem-solving process. Discuss with them how their picture, diagram, chart, expression, or equation relates to the situation in the problem.

Ask them to explain why they chose it and why they think it is a good mathematical expression to use for the problem they are tackling.

Online resources There are many technology tools and resources that can support students as they work to understand problems and expand their repertoire of appropriate models.

Virtual manipulatives can be used in addition to or as an alternative to the physical manipulatives that are already found in most mathematics classrooms. The following short video, Virtual Manipulativesbelow provides an overview of how to make use of virtual manipulatives.

There are also many websites that offer lesson plans for teachers. ReadWriteThinkfor example, provides a number of high-quality materials, including several that focus specifically on developing reading comprehension through mathematical problem solving.reading skills in order to improve their problem solving.

In considering the NCTM principles and standards (NCTM, ), one of the principles was the Learning Principle. This study aimed to investigate the interplay between mathematical word problem skills and reading comprehension.

The participants were children aged (Grade 4). Jan 08,  · Problem solving in mathematics and reading comprehension go hand in hand.

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Solving Math problems entails the students to apply two skills at the same time: reading and computing. It is a double-edged plombier-nemours.coms: ﻿Chapter II Review of Related Literature and Studies Reading is a complex cognitive process of decoding symbols in order to construct or derive meaning (reading comprehension).It is a means of language acquisition, of communication, and of sharing information and ideas.

Feb 17,  · Successfully solving mathematical word problems requires both mental representation skills and reading comprehension skills. In Realistic Math Education (RME), however, students primarily learn to apply the first of these skills (i.e., representational skills) in the context of word problem .

ReadWriteThink, for example, provides a number of high-quality materials, including several that focus specifically on developing reading comprehension through mathematical problem solving. Look for links to other suggested materials on PowerUp's Pinterest page.

Reading Comprehension | Math Problem Solving | The Learner's Edge