he first part of the RDW is to Read the problem, but there is much more to it than simply reading the problem over. Be sure to address vocabulary first. Identify words that could be tricky and review them, just as you would do with any other reading. Read the problem slowly with the students at least three times. Call on various students to read it aloud to provide the class with ample opportunities to analyze the problem and identify what it is asking them to do.
Word problems are often tricky for students. I have found that the readability of these problems can be challenging, especially in comparison to the classroom make up of readers. However, you can implement strategies to meet the needs of a multi-leveled classroom, just as you would during the literacy block of time.
Create Leveled Groups
Group your students by reading ability. This will help you to provide the best strategies in introducing story problems and helping students with comprehension. The students need to understand the words and what they mean. This will in turn give them ideas of how they want to solve the problem.
Provide Leveled Support
In the groups, you can present the same story problem, but provide different levels of support for the students to reach an understanding of what the problem is asking them to do.
Below Grade Level Readers
This group will need the most support with understanding the story problems. Some strategies to help support these readers are:
On Grade Level Readers
Above Grade Level Readers
After meeting with the individual groups, bring the whole group back together at the end. Now, you can go over the problem and allow students to share how they solved it. The lower students will feel a part of the group and ready knowing they have had time to work it out with that support.
After you are back to the whole group setting, provide students with the exit ticket to complete. Students will complete this part of the lesson completely independently. This will give you an idea of which students need support.
Provide Reading Partners
You can provide students with support also by creating high and low readers partnerships. The higher readers could provide additional support in the reading for students in need to understand the problem and what they should do to solve it. The students can also share ideas of how they would solve the problem and have a discussion.
Providing reading support for students will help support them in solving math problems. Dividing your class into reading ability levels and reviewing the problem will help you to support students in areas of need and provide them the most productive math instruction.
- Classroom Teacher
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