Wordy Word ProblemsJune 1, 2013 at 7:26 am | Posted in Content Area Literacy | 3 Comments
When beginning the process of choosing a topic for this blog, I began by looking up the connection between literacy and mathematics. After reviewing multiple documents, it came to my attention that the main component connecting mathematics and literacy would be solving word problems. When thinking about this topic, may concerns come to mind: student’s ability to pull out pertinent information, understanding the actual question, and overall readability of the question? In an article by Swanson, she references the idea that in 1945 Polya devised a four step process to solving word problems. The four main steps that would be to gather the data and analyze it to understand the problem, devise a plan by making connections to previously solved problems, test the plan and finally look back to make sure the results effectively answer the questions.
A study was conducted and reported on by Nasarudin Abdullah1, Effandi Zakaria1 & Lilia Halim, where they assessed the effectiveness of a thinking strategy approach to solving mathematical word problems. This study focused on taking word problems and turning them into visual representations in order to gain insight into the question, and then subsequently solving the given problem. This study uses the following steps in order to picture the problem: visualization, arrangement, plan, calculate, check the solution.
There are obvious overlaps in these two different processes; do you believe that the similarities bring two methods together? Which method do you believe could be most effective? Which method do you believe your students will find most effective?