Many myths clutter the math space. It is common to hear statements like: “I’m not a math person.” “I just need to remember the formula.” and the topic of this article:“I shouldn’t have to read in math class.” This article provides you with reading strategies that will demonstrate that notion is absolutely untrue!
Students using our materials are expected to read and understand substantial amounts of written content. Although our content is designed to be appropriate for students at grade level, some teachers may be concerned about implementing the program with readers who struggle to understand written language. This article provides practical suggestions for implementing our materials with such struggling readers.
It is also important to note that we use MetaMetrics to conduct Lexile evaluations of all of our solutions to ensure that readability is appropriate. We can provide additional details re: lexile evaluations upon request at ProductManagementTeam@carnegiearning.com.
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General Classroom Environment
- Create word walls that include vocabulary from the software and the textbook.
- Have the English language learners create word walls that include translations of the vocabulary words into their native language; be aware of English-Spanish cognates that are similar (e.g., equal and igual).
- Explicitly teach parts and features of the textbook (i.e., glossary, index, etc.)
- Provide highlighters and a coding structure for students to use when working in the consumable Carnegie Learning textbook.
- Reinforce effort and provide praise for a job well done.
- Understand the educational background of each ELL student in the class; review the IEPs for the special needs students.
- Maintain high expectations for all learners.
Creating Access to the Mathematics
- Read or have a fluent student read the problem situation that begins each lesson.
- Read slowly and enunciate each word to ensure student understanding.
- Avoid overt corrections when a student is reading; repeat with correct pronunciation.
- Ask clarifying questions to check for comprehension.
- Provide students individual time to process the problem situation before engaging in the next part of the lesson.
- Allow students to preview the entire lesson at the start.
Maintaining Access to the Mathematics
- Use heterogeneous cooperative grouping strategies.
- Group struggling readers, including English language learners, with strong, fluent readers.
- Create a structure within the student groups to ensure that each step of the problem is read aloud by a strong reader.
- Allow students to first write their answers in their native language before translating into English; stress the importance of communicating the mathematical concepts over getting the English grammar correct.
Assessing Mathematical Progress
- Allow students to present solutions for the first time in their native language. As they become more comfortable with English, transition them into presenting in English.
- Provide opportunities for students to present answers using graphs and charts.
- Ensure that all students are responsible for communicating the mathematics that they’ve learned.
- Vary questioning strategies based on the level of language acquisition.
- Explicitly review the directions for the homework assignment; ensure that all students understand the task.
- Review any key terms that were used in the lesson.
- Celebrate successes.
- Seat struggling readers, including English language learners, with strong, fluent readers.
- Encourage student collaboration.
- Give explicit instructions on how to use the self-help tools of the Tutor.
- Work with students individually on the Interactive Example if they struggle with a new unit.
- Create a word wall similar to the one in the classroom.
- Provide students an opportunity to talk about what they are reading.
- Praise students for their successes.
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