Friday, August 15, 2008

Fun With Word Problems

I don't know if anyone remembers all my worrying about word problems last year but today Catherine and I encountered the first ones in Primary Math 5A. I had been dreading them. Last year we were working through Primary Math 3 and despite some brights spots we never got a firm handle in them. To make the jump to 5? didn't seem promising.

We finished them in 15 minutes today. These were two and three part questions, far beyond what we'd worked last year but Catherine seemed to have a much easier time.

The difference?

Her reading!

Perhaps the problems last year had little to do with barmodels or algebra or anything involving math. Perhaps it was a reading comprehension problem and once she took her big reading leap in March and began working on her skills she was on the road to having an easier time decyphering word problems.

We'll see...But for now I'm pleased.


molytail said...

reading comprehension plays in BIGTIME with word problems - Cindy has difficulty in this area...reading comp is something we worked on a lot this past year - and it definitely was contributing to her confusion with word problems. If *I* broke the word problem down for her, she could work it out (assuming it took math that she knew)...but just reading it herself, she often had no idea what it asked for.

Glad to hear Catherine is making progress in this! :-)

lorraine m said...

I too have been pondering "big leaps" lately, yesterday in fact. Hope is writing a book, her own clan of cats for a Warriors book. There were next to no spelling mistakes in it. Blew me away. This is the child whose last book "The Avrething Book" was just about purely phonetic in spelling. Given this new leap of ours here we are starting the Sequential Spelling book you sent me last year. Michael too has made a leap, in hand/motor control, so he's ready to start some italics work, wants to print properly. Yay leaps!

Jacqueline said...

Yipppeeee!! Always nice to see improvement

Lynn said...

Yeah, my daughter has problems with word problem directions, too; she's fine with the comprehension part, she just forgets to read them, which makes getting the right answer so much harder.