Helping Struggling Readers Build Math Understanding through Word Problems

byGilbert L. Carter, Jr.

When I first started teaching I would find myself thinking that if I had one wish for my students, it would be that all of my students had a complete understanding of basic multiplication facts.  Over the course of several years of teaching math, another wish would be that my students could read on grade level.  However, the reality is that students struggle with math and reading. These deficits make it a challenge for math teachers. This unit will serve 8th grade math teachers teaching (pre-Algebra) in the special education setting or the general education setting who have student’s reading well below grade level—specifically 2 to 3 grade levels below.  This unit can be used by special education and/or general education math teachers who teach pre-Algebra and struggle with students’ inabilities to read, comprehend, and correctly solve word problems.  This is the unit that will address struggling readers, who want to strengthen literacy using one-step mathematical word problems.  This unit is designed with the goal in mind to truly meet a struggling eighth grade student with certain reading and math deficits at their respective levels.

(Developed for Pre-Algebra, grade 8; recommended for Mathematics, grades 6-7)

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