Your fabulous ZONES math team loves to work together. For example, Kristin bought this great book by Laney Sammons called Building Mathematical Comprehension: Using Literacy Strategies to Make Meaning. Then, she gave it to me so I could read it. Win win! To be honest, I have been mulling over ideas of how to connect literacy strategies  specifically reading comprehension strategies  with math comprehension. No matter what I do, my students continually struggle with comprehending word problems and understanding mathematical tasks. I am excited to dig more into Sammon's book but for now I bring you: Chapter 1. The most interesting part of Chapter 1 was this statement from page 25: "Students benefit from knowing about the structure of word problems  considered by some to be a unique genre." I had never thought about word problems being a separate genre! Sammons goes on to say that word problems usually start with introductory information, then factual information, and they end with the main idea. The main idea in a word problem is actually the question. No wonder students struggle! We need to explicitly teach students this structure, which will support them in understanding the text. Here are a few other great ideas I have gathered along the way:
Seriously  have you ever thought about the absurdity of some of the word problems we give students? They make NO sense at all! And what an oddity, considering we spend a huge amount of time drilling in to students "Does that make sense?" Of COURSE buying 60 cantaloupes does not make sense! Neither does 250 clowns carrying 3 balloons each. So the last point I have for you is: make it real. Ensure that whatever math task you're working on makes sense in the context of your students' lives. {Thanks #MichME peeps!} I can't wait to bring you more ideas from Sammon's book as I continue reading!
What comprehension strategies have you used in your math class? Always learning, Christi 
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