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Action Research Proposal: Mathematics ProblemSolving Skill And Reading Comprehension
Mathematics problemsolving and reading comprehension go handinhand
It cannot be denied that problem solving is an important part of Mathematics education. Mathematics, in general, is an important subject because of its practical role to a person and the society as a whole. However, before a student can successfully solve a problem, he has to possess good reading comprehension, analytic and computational skills.
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I. Situation
Problem solving in Mathematics and reading comprehension go hand in hand. Solving Math problems entails or requires the students to do or apply two skills at the same time reading and computing. It is a twoedged sword which the student should conquer, so to speak.
As a teacher of Mathematics in Grade 6 for five years in the public school, I have encountered many pupils who are poor both in comprehending and analyzing Mathematics word problems. Specifically in SY 20102011 Grade 6 class, only 11 out of 60 pupils can successfully solve problems in Math without or with just little help from the teacher. The rest need to be guided to understand the problem. Approximately 82% find it hard to picture the situation indicated by the problem they are trying to solve. The slow ones would even ask the meaning of a certain word in the problem. When they have understood it, it is only then that they fully grasp the event/situation pictured in the problem. However, there are still some who cannot understand it, probably because they can’t connect or relate the ideas explained in the problem. When it is time to analyze or break down the problem, only the 11 pupils mentioned earlier can actively participate.
During group activities, the leaders would most often report that their members have to be monitored closely so that they would be able to correctly analyze the problem. Based on their report, roughly 3 out of 7 members actively contribute in their output.
That is why, during formative tests, only11 can get a perfect score. Majority of the class get 03 correct answers out of 5 given problems. Since the beginning of the school year, I have noticed that roughly 85%of the class has poor reading comprehension skills. The Grade 5 teacher warned me beforehand that this class is the slowest batch he has handled; particularly in reading comprehension. Many of the pupils in the class have poor vocabulary skills. True enough, I experience the same thing now. It seems that the present batch of pupils is worse than the previous one. Translating this into analyzing the problems in Mathematics, there is a grim prospect that they would find it hard to understand Math problems and thus affect their performance in the said area,notwithstanding their numerical skills. In straight computations like plain addition, multiplication, subtraction and division, they can solve them successfully with very little help. But when these are written in the verbal contextnot in the numerical context they are already at a loss, so to speak. Obviously, the bane of these pupils is the understanding of the contents of the math problems correctly and connecting the ideas expressed in it to fully grasp and find a way to successfully solve the problem.
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II. The Problem
The problem is the failure of the Grade VI pupils of Zapote Elementary School, SY 20112012, to correctly analyze word problems in Mathematics due to poor reading comprehension abilities.
Possible Causes:
1. Limited vocabulary words in Mathematics
2. Lack of technique in solving word problems
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III. Generation of Alternative Solution
This action research offers alternative solution to the following:
1. Limited Mathematics vocabulary
a. Provide unlocking of difficulties through vocabulary development before the beginning of the Math class
b. Establish a tutortutee relationship wherein a good pupil tutors or teaches a slow classmate assigned to him in areas of reading comprehension and problemsolving
c. Provide interesting and challenging vocabulary activities involving Mathematics vocabulary such as in contests and games
2. Lack of technique in solving word problems
a. Organize the given information found in the problem
b. Use object representation and manipulatives to picture clearly the given Math problem
c. Substitute large numbers by simpler numbers or restate the problem in much simpler terms through improved reading comprehension
d. Make a number sentence out of the word problem
e. Use the “trial and error” method or the “guess and check”
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IV. Plan of Action
a. Objectives
1. Improve the pupils’ limited vocabulary wordsin Mathematics and enhance reading comprehension ability of the students
2. Develop the pupils’ techniques in solving word problems
b. Time Frame
This study will be conducted for one quarter, from July to September of SY 20112012
c. Target Subjects
The target subjects for this study are the Grade VI pupils of Zapote Elementary School during the academic year 20112012.
d. Activities to be Undertaken
Target Date
 Persons Involved
 Activities
 Expected Results


July 12, 2011
 School Head
 A. Inform the school head about the action research to be undertaken
 Granted permission to conduct the research

July 15, 2011
 Grade VI pupils Coteachers
 B. Orientation of the pupils and coteachers regarding the action research
 100% of the pupils and coteachers will be aware of the ongoing research

C. Improve the pupils'limited vocabulary words in Mathematics
 
July 16, 2011
 Grade VI pupils
 1. Survey the Mathematics vocabulary skill of the pupils.
 100% of the pupils will be surveyed

July 18 to September 9, 2011
 Grade VI pupils
 2. Provide unlocking of difficulties through vocabulary development before the beginning of the Math class.
 100% of the class will develop and enhance their Math vocabulary skill

July 21, 2011
 Grade VI pupils, Teacher
 3. Establish a tutortutee relationship in reading comprehension and problemsolving wherein a good pupil tutors a slow classmate assigned to him
 100% of the slow pupils will learn from their tutorclassmates

July 18, 2011 until the end of the school year
 Grade VI pupils , Teacher
 4. Provide interesting and challenging vocabulary activities involving Math vocabulary such as in contestsand game.
 100% of the pupils will participate more actively in discussions and activities

D. Develop the pupils' techniques in solving word problems
 
July 25 to August 5, 2011
 Grade VI pupils, Teacher
 1. Draw a graph, chart, graphic organizer or list to help the students organize their information found in the word problem.
 100% of the pupils will be able to organize the given data and connect the ideas expressed in the problem

August 819, 2011
 Grade VI pupils, Teacher
 2. Ask the students to make representation of objects so they will be able to visualize the problem clearly. They can use ruler, play money, realia, blocks, dice, etc.
 100% of the pupils can manipulate and be aided by these materials in solving word problems

August 22 to September 2, 2011
 Grade VI pupils, Teacher
 3. Substitute large numbers by simpler numbers and use them instead of what are given in the problem, Problems can also be restated in much simpler terms.
 100% of the pupils will be able to simplify the problem and substitute simpler numbers for the given numbers

September 516, 2011
 Grade VI pupils, Teacher
 4. From the given problem, make a number sentence by substituting the English sentences into Mathematics sentences. Another technique is to translate the problem into a dialect most understood by the students.
 100% of the pupils will be able to master writing the number sentence

September 1923, 2011
 Grade VI pupils, Teacher
 5. Solve by "trial and error" or "guess and check" by using the answers provided in multiple choice problems.
 100% of the pupils will be able to apply the guess and check technique

V. Evaluation Criteria
The result of this research shall be reported after 100% of the Grade VI pupils have improved their Mathematics problemsolving skills.
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VI.Research Design
This action research is purely descriptive in nature which uses pretest/posttest results and survey results to address the pupils’ problem.
Activities
 Data To Be Collected
 Statistical Treatment


1. Conduct a presurvey of the previous Math vocabulary and reading comprehension of students
 Presurvey result
 Average

2. Administer the pretest
 Result of the pretest
 Percentage

3. Conduct daily test on Math vocabulary
 Result of the daily test
 Percentage

4. Conduct weekly test on problemsolving
 Weekly test result
 Percentage

5. Conduct a postsurvey of the Mathematics vocabulary of the pupils
 Postsurvey result
 Average

6. Administer the posttest
 Result of the posttest
 Percentage

Comments
Thanks for sharing. I am a High School Math teacher and i experienced similar problems with my students too. I just want to ask permission if i could use this research as one of my references in conducting the same study. Thanks :)
Hi po I just want to ask permission in using this research as one of my reference in conducting the same study. Thanks :)
Thanks for sharing.
hi. i am interested in conducting a study similar to the premise of your research but in college freshmen. is it okay with you?
thank you very much.
More power.
The difficulty really lies on poor reading comprehension. It can be solved, I think by a curriculum same as ours in the early 6Os whereas far as I remember was more of reading in the primary grades. Nobody was unable to read in our class when we were in Grade l. Students opt to be absent when they are unable to cope up with lessons and later on dislikes going to school.
Nice job! My action research was on Integrating Technology and testing pilot learning software. Thanks.
I think this will be very useful to me cause I'm experiencing the same problem with my students. What was the result of the research you conducted? I am planning to do the same action research in our school... If you don't mind, can you give me samples of the tests you used to serve as my basis? thanks a lot.
Thank you for sharing your ideas. I hope that this program will be realized and be a model to some, if not most, of our schools. God bless and more power!
Lack of reading comprehension skills is a problem in the schools across the country. Maybe if schools would begin more aggressive reading programs in the earlier grades, this wouldn't be as much as an issue in the higher grade levels. This is an issue in many of our schools across the country. Also, parents should be proactive by spending more time reading with their children. I found your hub to be very interesting.
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