The Importance of Reading for Understanding
The Importance Of Reading For Understanding
Many students struggle with understanding what they are reading in a math problem. Math has its own language and to some students this is like learning a foreign language. Students who have low reading levels struggle with understanding what they are reading. Even students who are on level readers can struggle with translating math problems. Students who struggle with reading will almost always struggle with understanding word problems. Another reason students struggle with understanding word problems is they do not know what they important information is in the problems. Students need to be able to decipher what is important and what is not important. Some students also struggle because the problem has no meaning for them. In order for student to want to solve a word problem they must have some interest or you may here when am I ever going to use this. As stated in research done by Wisconsin teachers, vocabulary knowledge is the single most important factor in reading comprehension (Harry, Jancik,Kosiak, Schumann).
Make a word problem that can be used to check students understanding of what they are reading. Use a problem that will connect with your students. Make sure that students will have the prior knowledge to be able to understand the word problem.
Follow this link to watch a video of how to think through tricky math problems.