Sunday, October 6, 2013

Five Strategies of Online Reading Comprehension Used in Math

Comprehension is extremely important when solving math problems.  Marilyn Burns, founder of Math Solutions Professional Development, wrote an article in Leadership Compass about the importance of comprehension within the math classrooms.  Marilyn Burns - Leadership Compass She stated that, “Comprehension is key to being a successful reader, and the same standard should hold true for math.”  (Burns, 2005) Online reading comprehension for math can be instructed in a similar way as it is taught in a tradition reading classroom.  The five components of ORC, questioning, locating, evaluating, synthesizing, and communicating, are all used within math, but they may have different words used to describe the processes.  Marilyn Burns asked professional to identify key strategies for reading and they then related them to strategies that are used for solving math problems.  (Burns, 2005)  We then took the strategies identified and connected them to the five ORC strategies for math.  

Students are often asked to make predictions while they are reading.  In math, students are asked to estimate possible answers to their problems.  For ORC in math, students can estimate what the solution will be prior to searching for their answers.  By estimating the solution, they will have a general idea of what information they find online is accurate and valid.
As with reading, vocabulary is an essential component for math.  When locating information online, students need to understand the terminology and vocabulary that is being used in text.  Teachers and students can create an online reading word chart that they can refer to when using the Internet.  These vocabulary words will assist students with locating the information they are looking for quickly and accurately.Evaluating
Once students receive their information from online, they are then asked to evaluate what they found.  For math students can take the information and compare it to their estimates.  They also can determine if the information came from a replicable online domain.
Students will take the information they found and apply different method of problem solving and reasoning to determine if they are able to find a solution to the problem.

All students will not necessarily have the same problem solving techniques for each math problem, therefore communication is key when completing math assignments online.  Students are encouraged to work in small group, whole class, and cooperative pairs to discuss their findings.  Reflection will be used to allow students to reflect on the strategies that worked well when completing ORC for math problems.

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