March 3, 2016

Close Reading Math Word Problems

I'll admit when I was first told that my kindergarten students should be doing close reading I was a little skeptical. I just knew that my little kindergarteners could not complete these higher-order thinking tasks. I mean, they're just babies right? But hey, I gave it my best shot. I' admit we started off a little... shaky to say the least. As we reread texts throughout the week I fielded questions like, "Didn't we do this yesterday?", but we powered through. I started by setting daily objectives during my read aloud. One day we'd discuss unknown vocabulary, the next we'd discuss story structure and retelling, and so on. As we head into the second half of the year, I'm happy to say that they're doing great. It's a beautiful sound to a teacher's ears when you hear them explain to me that they're "finding evidence in the text". Winning! Now, I'm not saying that this comes easily to all of my students, but it's worth modeling for our kindergarteners. 

The success I had this year with close reading inspired me to use this skill to help my 1st grade math tutoring group. Why not apply those same reading skills to help students read and solve math word problems? 

I made an easy 3-step process for close reading in math. These help students learn to determine whether to add or subtract, find important details in the problem, and find the question. What makes this more fun is that it involves highlighters! Check it out!

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