Monday, September 22, 2008

Reading Strategies

As I pondered the recent spreadsheet assignment and some of the readings, I thought about incorporating more math into my current position as a literacy intervention teacher. For some of my students computation is an area of strength. They struggle to understand word problems because of deeper issues with reading comprehension. Adding word problem activities to my current interventions would allow students to develop comprehension, problem solving and critical thinking skills that could be used as attack strategies in many different subject areas.

As I was searching for additional information about incorporating math problems into my class, I came across an interesting website , Into the Book,, that uses the catch phrase, "Strategies for Learning." This website discusses the reading strategies that I already use as part of my daily instruction, however, it puts them in the context of thinking strategies. This site references them as part of a tool for building literacy across the curriculum. An example of this would be visualizing. Many of my students do not automatically create mental pictures. We spend time in class modeling our "mental pictures" for each other. In a math problem, this could be a useful tool when deciding what operation to use or which information is not needed to solve the problem. In social studies, visualizing is important if you are imaging the conditions in another part of the country or an historical event. The website actually offers little videos that show other kids modeling these strategies when reading. My goal would be to extend what I am doing in reading and add one math problem. For instance, if we are working on visualizing, we could read a word problem and discuss what we see as we read the problem, or use pictures and models to represent what is happening.

In reflection, I have always seen a connection between these two areas, however, I have not made the connection explicit with my students. I think that being in a reading class and exploring a math problem would encourage them to make the connection and apply reading strategies to other areas. Just another tool for their toolbox! I came across this interesting book written by Arthur Hyde, titled Comprehending Math: Adapting Reading Strategies to Teach Mathematics, K-6. I may purchase it to share with the staff in regards to the topic. It seems to address the exact issues that I discussing. To purchase this book, visit :

On a related but separate topic, I also came across this Reading Rockets website. I have not explored the website too much, but I really liked this page,, because it was a quick reference guide for research. I thought this would especially be useful if you are being asked to give assessments and may be in need of information about exactly what the results are supposed to tell you. Also, around conference time I like to share tips with parents, but I want to make sure I know the research behind my suggestion! This seemed like a nice compilation of some studies, etc.

1 comment:

Megan Fritz said...

HEre is another site that might help you. I don't know if it's that related to reading but I do know that it will facilitate using technology as a tool to teach math: