





Math or Reading
A second grade student is a struggling reader, but can complete math facts and problems excellently. When given the formative math assessment, the student failed. He had to read the word problems and he didn't know the words. Should the student be penalized for not knowing the math vocabulary? Or should the teacher read the test to him? 










Solution 1
Posted October 19, 2014 11:52 pm 




I don't think it really demonstrates what the student knows in mathematics.
One option is to read the questions to the student to determine if they truly understand how to solve the math problems. 

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Solution 2
Posted October 19, 2014 11:53 pm 




No...My daughter has an IEP for reading and her accommodations are served in math as well because she cannot read the math terms. I feel that if a students struggles in reading and receives accommodations in reading then it should include all subjects, because even in math there is reading. She loves math and she is excellent in math fact, but again she cannot read word problems. I do think that the student would do better if the teacher reads the problems to them and I think the student would feel less like a failure if he understood what the questions were being asked. 

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Solution 3
Posted October 20, 2014 1:17 am 




This is such a dilemma in the classroom. Despite that, accommodations for testing are different from instructional accommodations so one must be careful when doing so. Also, if an IEP is not in place for the student, those accommodations the teacher gave throughout the year will not be accessible to the student on state standardized tests. As a result, the student may acquire a sense of learned helplessness and have difficulties performing at the end of the year. The student may benefit more from a modified version of the assessment, while receiving reading intervention instruction to address his reading needs. 

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Solution 4
Posted October 20, 2014 12:48 am 




I feel that the teacher should read to the student and work with them, especially knowing they are capable of doing the work. The student may need other interventions to improve their reading comprehension. 

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Solution 5
Posted October 20, 2014 2:29 am 




I also have the same dilemma with one of my students. He struggles in reading and is on a reading tier, but he is an excellent math student. This one student also struggles with math terms and having to read word problems in general, so I feel as if he should not be punished for that. I do make him attempt to read the problems, and I help him along the way when he gets to a word he just absolutely cannot read. It takes him a lot longer to complete those types of math problems, but when he takes his time, and with my help on the "big" words, he understands what the problem is asking him to do.
I teach second grade, and all of my coteachers (including myself) read the assessments to all students up until Christmas break. When the students get back to school after that, they start doing their assessments on their own. Of course I will continue to pull my struggling students for small group assessment, but other than that, I try to remove myself as being a 'crutch' to some of the students who just do not want to read the problems. 

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Solution 6
Posted October 20, 2014 2:49 am 




I feel that the teacher should find ways to teach the student to read the math word problems. The teacher should plan enriching math, reading remediation activities to meet the students needs. 

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Solution 7
Posted March 11, 2015 1:20 pm 




Good question. I would try my best to keep the issues separate. The student needs to have the acknowledgment that he understand the math concepts so he doesn't get discouraged with his strengths. If the teacher can verify that math is a strength, extra time can be spent on the reading otherwise time may spent helping math skills that don't need to be helped. 

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Solution 8
Posted October 12, 2015 1:14 am 




No, the student should not be penalized. There should be data collected to prove that the student is struggling in reading and therefore, when it comes to processing word problems maybe they could be modified for him. 

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