Teachers want to include instructional strategies to increase math comprehension, especially in second-language learners.
Recently I was rereading a blog post that compiled a list by the Virginia Department of Education Division of Instruction back in 2004. They had some great suggestions I would like to share!
These are tried and true methods that still hold true today.
- Integrate the four language modes (listening, speaking, reading, writing) into mathematics class.
- Model the process. Talk aloud while solving problems on the overhead or chalkboard to show the thinking process and common errors.
- Have students explain their thinking process aloud to a classmate while solving a problem.
- Integrate reading and writing through the use of journals, learning logs, poems, literature, etc.
- Give explicit instruction and practice in reading and writing word problems. Teach students to identify keywords in word problems that indicate a certain mathematical operation.
- Begin class with warm-up activities using mathematical language to give students practice in sentence construction.
- Write a cloze exercise (a short paragraph with keywords missing) or sentence starters (i.e., Perimeter is the…) on the board for students to copy and complete when they enter class.
- Give students a computation problem to solve, and then have them write the steps they used to solve it in complete sentences.
- Post labels and vocabulary cards around the classroom on completed word problems, number lines, rulers, fraction diagrams, and/or objects in the class.
- Have students paraphrase and write complex concepts in their own words (individually, in pairs, or whole class).
- Review mathematical vocabulary and concepts using games such as TIC TAC TOE, BINGO, Concentration, Charades, etc.
Instructional Strategies to Increase Math Comprehension: Use a variety of modes of instruction
- Design multi-sensory lessons (visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic).
- Use visuals whenever possible to reinforce auditory instruction (i.e., charts, graphs, manipulatives, diagrams, models, real objects).
- Use graphic organizers to visually represent mathematical concepts.
- Design hands-on activities.
- Vary groupings throughout the lesson (i.e., independent work, pair work, small groups, whole class).
- Use real-life problem-solving situations to teach new concepts.
- Make interdisciplinary connections whenever possible
I hope you enjoyed this. Let me know in the comments which are your favorites!
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