Yesterday, I tried applying reading standards to solving word problems and it went so well. I started by selecting several word problems that are slightly below their reading and ability level so they could do the problems.

I began by reviewing these terms:

1. Main character

2. Setting

3. Event or what was happening

4. Inferences which need to be made

5. Summary - a sentence or two to summarize all the information and the answer.

The second step was showing a problem on my Smart Board so I could model my expectations. The problem was something like:

"There were 6846 seeds in the bird feeder. 6 bluebirds and one baby bear decided to split the seeds evenly among themselves. How many did they each get?"

We decided the main characters were the 6 bluebirds and one baby bear.

The setting: its happening by the bird feeder.

The event: splitting the seeds up evenly.

Inferences: 6 birds plus one bear means 7 totally. Splitting means division.

I had the students do the math so we had an answer for the problem

The summary - The 7 animals split the 6846 seeds evenly among themselves so they had 978 seeds each.

All my students had a great time applying their reading skills to solving math problems. It showed the skills they use when reading a book can also be used in mathematics. Most of my students prefer using these skills than the usual ones associated with problem solving in math. We will do this again next week with more complex problems.

Let me know what you think. The English teacher loves this idea because it answers the question of will they ever use it outside of the English class. Thank yo for reading.