Building Mathematical Comprehension ~ Chapter 1



I have been so excited to begin reading this book! The idea of using comprehension strategies applied to math is just exciting! Chapter 1 "Comprehension Strategies for Math", is a nice intro to the concept. I found lots of ideas that I agreed with, but really hadn't thought of through the lens of math.

Here are some of my "of course" thoughts when it comes to the connection between reading and math:
  • In reading, students use decoding skills then go beyond that, using strategies to construct meaning. In math, students should be able to use the same strategies to construct meaning. 
  •  Thought processes, prior knowledge, and knowledge about context are used to construct meaning in reading. The same are used to construct meaning in math!
  • Just like good readers create meaning for understanding, in math, we create meaning as we process mathematical concepts and solve problems.
Seven comprehension strategies enhance the ability to construct meaning. 
  1. Making Connections - using schema, building background knowledge
  2. Questioning - generating questions before, during, & after
  3. Visualizing - making a 'mind movie'
  4. Inferring - using background knowledge to predict, conclude, make judgements, & interpret
  5. Determining Importance - deciding what information is important
  6. Synthesizing - creating new ideas or extending/revising understanding
  7. Self-monitoring - monitoring your understanding
These strategies are effective in BOTH reading and math. I will admit that I have truly never thought of it before, but of course I use those strategies when working in math! The beauty is, that just as we have provided specific instruction in these strategies in our reading instruction, we can do the same in our math instruction to help our students be better, and more natural,  mathematicians!

I'm going to share with you the six steps of explicit instruction Laney quotes:
  1. Explain WHAT the strategy is.
  2. Explain WHY the strategy is important.
  3. Explain WHEN to use the strategy.
  4. MODEL HOW to use the strategy in the actual context.
  5. GUIDE STUDENTS as they practice the strategy.
  6.  Students INDEPENDENTLY  use the strategy.
Along with the explicit instruction, we need to help our kiddos know WHEN to use specific strategies. Some are best used at the beginning of working with a problem, others during, and even after!
I am so ready to dive into the rest of the book! I already have plans formulating in my brain!
What were your thoughts? We'd love to hear them! Make sure to link up! And please grab the button above for your post!
ALSO-- in celebration of the book study launch....I'd love to giveaway TWO sets of my Beanie Baby Comprehension Poster Packs!! I'll choose winners on Tuesday!
Just leave a comment answering these questions.....
Giveaway ended

Which of the strategies do YOU use when working on math problems?
How can the use of comprehension strategies help your kiddos develop a conceptual understanding of math? 


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