Literacy instruction in math classes.
Near, Shannon M.
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This thesis capstone project is a research synthesis to address the question of which literacy instructional practices, when applied to mathematics teaching, produce positive math performance results for elementary students? For this exhaustive literature review, 36 published studies were found that addressed the question. These studies were grouped into four categories: the relationship of reading performance to math performance, the relationship of comprehension of reading and the comprehension of math problems, vocabulary instruction in reading and mathematics, and specialized instruction in reading and mathematics. Synthesis of the findings produced a number of results: first is that this problem of the relationship between literacy and math has been around and been researched for decades and in many countries besides the United States, with the main focus being on students in grades three to six. A major result from this study is that there appears to be a direct correlation between reading performance and math performance but not math to reading: proficient reading performance translates to proficient math performance, but proficient math performance does not appear to directly correlate to proficient reading performance. The two subcategories of reading performance that appear to most significantly impact math performance are comprehension and vocabulary development, while the instructional strategies of conducting think-alouds, providing direct instruction, modeling, and using graphic organizers appear to have a positive impact on both literacy and mathematics learning. These results are packaged for the professional development of elementary teachers in the form of a DVD.
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