Not even the most astute abacus and mental math skills can help if one does not comprehend the question being asked.
In Singapore’s school curriculum, reading comprehension and math are closely correlated, especially when it comes to solving word problems. Simply knowing arithmetic techniques is not enough.
Here are three useful tactics to boost your kid’s math score by improving his or her reading comprehension.
1. Strengthen foundational reading comprehension skills by making reading time a priority at home
In problem-solving, the most important step to getting the right answer is to understand what is being asked. Having strong foundational reading comprehension skills will help in this regard.
Practice reading comprehension strategies at home such as choosing books of your child’s interest; asking questions before, during, and after reading a passage; and providing clear phonics instruction.
Whether or not you enroll your child in a reading programme for kids, make reading time a priority at home and soon their vocabulary and critical thinking skills will improve. These reading comprehension tools lay the foundation for grasping even the most complex of word problems.
2. Read through the word problem and break the question down in parts before determining the order of steps to solve it
With each word problem, encourage your child to read through the entire question carefully to make sure he or she understands the meaning of each word and key terminology (for example, that “increase” is a term for addition, and “fewer than” means subtraction).
Next, break down the question, and figure out the necessary steps to solve the problem. This method helps your child process the math word problem in its entirety.
3. Consider enrolling in reading programmes for kids
While at-home learning support is essential, there are reading programmes for kids that can further heighten your child’s reading abilities, be it through multi-sensorial activities, a series of verbal and written comprehension questions, or techniques that develop higher order thinking skills. Reading programmes for kids can tremendously prepare your child to take on the MOE curriculum in all the subjects, including both English and Math.
Backed by more than a decade of extensive research and development, MindChamps’ Reading & Writing enrichment programme instills in children the desire to read and write, while equipping them with the literacy skills needed to succeed in primary school and beyond. In turn, as they are better equipped to tackle difficult word problems, their math scores and problem-solving skills will naturally improve.