Reading Comprehension - Math Problem Solving - The Learner's Edge, Inc.


Math+ Math Skills at a Glance

Grades 3-10

Professional Development Available

Math SkillsMath+ provides an overview of the basic math skills required for success on the most recent types of math tests. These user-friendly materials give teachers and principals diagnostic baseline data as to how students are performing in relation to basic math skills. This comprehensive view of fundamental math skills serves as an instructional road map for teachers and as a predictor of student success on today's math tests.

Math+ draws from the universal content of accepted and widely used mathematics textbooks, diverse curriculum materials, precise grade-level expectations, and local and state standards. These fundamental enabling math skills are the building blocks for a successful transition into word problems and higher levels of mathematics.

Today's math students must have an automatic command of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, fractions, problem solving, etc. Without these basic math skills, students become buried in "finger" or "stick" counting—and there is no time for that on today's math assessments. Command of basic math skills frees a student to apply the thinking processes required to solve a problem. Test authors assume that students already have the grade-level prerequisites for problem solving.

Math+ addresses 11 basic math skill areas:

Addition Numbers/Roman Numerals Graphs
Subtraction Fractions Geometry
Multiplication Decimals Problem Solving/
Division Measurement   Critical Thinking

The materials include an individual profile grid that may be used to chart student or class progress and to observe visually the continuous changes in the learning process.

Components: Reproducible Masters: Teacher Directions, Student Sheets, Answer Key, Diagnostic Profile.

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Math: Go Figure...

Grades 5-10

Available through Sopris West
Educational Services

Math Skills - Word Problems

Math: Go Figure... is a carefully researched mathematics program that is designed to guide teachers and teach students the critical-thinking and problem-solving math skills required to solve word problems and succeed in today's math classrooms and on the most recent state assessments. The instructional strategies of Go Figure... are user-friendly and provide daily opportunities to conceptualize and apply math skills and problem-solving processes to a wide variety of math word problems. Go Figure... gives diagnostic information about student math skills and progress in a wide variety of mathematical areas. Successes and gaps in learning become obvious, making timely acceleration or remediation possible.

Go Figure... samples universal math skills content areas of accepted and widely used math textbooks and diverse math concepts and replicates local, state, and national math tests. Problem-solving and critical-thinking skills that every student must know and be able to do are emphasized throughout. The program integrates the fundamentals of psychologically sound learning styles with a multisensory (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) approach to instruction that meets the needs of all learners.

Go Figure... incorporates direct instruction and modeling with guided learning, independent practice, and the opportunity to describe in writing the thinking system required to solve a given word problem. Each word problem integrates listening, observing, identifying key words, analyzing, deciding on a process, and showing one's work. Throughout the program there are abundant math and word problem activities for independent application.

Each Go Figure... word problem has five distinct elements. Think, Problem-Solving Plan, Solve, Communicate, and Math Vocabulary.

  1. Think introduces a word problem designed to maintain and reinforce a variety of math skills. This section offers an opportunity for discussion, creativity, conceptualization, and the application of problem-solving skills.
  2. The Problem-Solving Plan is a grid in which students sequentially indicate the math skills, steps, and strategies used to arrive at the answer to a word problem. This diagnostic tool is a quick, reliable indicator of how a student thinks and manipulates information.
  3. Solve requires students to show and label their work. Model responses appear in the Teacher's Guide. Responses may be tailored according to teacher choice or teachers may accept other, valid student responses.
  4. Communicate allows students to develop a written rationale for the solutions to their word problems and to explain the reasons for selecting certain math skills and problem-solving strategies.
  5. Math Vocabulary presents and defines words pertinent to a given problem.

Throughout Go Figure... are Try This word problems that give students an opportunity to apply their learned math skills and to work independently. Performance on Try This allows teachers to know what each student can do and how each student applies previous knowledge to new and different math word problems.

Components: Teacher's guide (includes answers), student handbook.

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You Can Be Algebra Ready—A Pre-Algebra Program

Grades 5-10

Available through Sopris West
Educational Services

Math Problem Solving - Pre-Algebra

Algebra Ready is a comprehensive pre-algebra program that provides the direct instruction, essential math skills knowledge, and algebraic thinking required for students to be successful in algebra. The program meets the NCTM Standards. The seven components woven through each of the 36 lessons, plus the Try This activities, give teachers a highly sequential, focused framework that promotes student confidence and success.

Algebra Ready takes into consideration the various student learning styles (auditory, visual, kinesthetic) and addresses the varying ability levels within a classroom. Action-oriented objectives keep students engaged while the carefully orchestrated exercises instill an "I can do it" attitude toward math. Lessons are organized and strategically grouped based on the algebraic concepts and math skills necessary to enter and succeed in any algebra class.

The seven key components in each lesson and the Try This activities work together to ensure that students are "algebra ready!"

  1. Word Problem Warm Ups maintain and reinforce a variety of general math skills and help prepare students for the word problems that appear in state tests. The unique problem-solving checklist teaches and reinforces a sequence through which students learn to solve word problems.
  2. Lesson Objectives develop a mindset for students and provide direction for each lesson.
  3. Math Vocabulary Acquisition consists of common usage, high-frequency math words printed on pocket-size math flash cards for each student.
  4. Lesson Presentation begins with a review of the previous lesson, followed by a step-by-step description and visual presentation of new concepts.
  5. Guided Learning involves teacher and students working on problems and activities together.
  6. Guided Class Practice assures teachers that students are ready to work on their own. During this process, the teacher monitors individual student progress and provides assistance as needed prior to assigning independent work.
  7. Independent Practice immediately reinforces the day's lesson. This results in a high degree of student confidence and success due to the ample learning and practice opportunities in Guided Learning and Guided Practice.

    Try This activities are "fear-free/risk-free" exercises interspersed throughout the program to give students a challenge and to add algebraic thinking and math problem-solving opportunities to their Algebra Ready experiences.

Algebra Ready includes four diagnostic progress assessments that reflect the math skills and concepts taught in previous lessons and pinpoint areas requiring review or acceleration. The Guided Learning and Guided Practice components also provide daily opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress.

Components: Part 1 - teacher's guide (includes answers), student book, set of vocabulary cards, student resource bookmark; Part 2 - teacher's guide (includes answers), student book, set of vocabulary cards, student resource bookmark.

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