Guided Math and Guided Reading…many teachers ask me how these two are alike. They both lead to comprehension!

Guided Math and Guided Reading are similar since they both improve comprehension. I have used Daily 5 strategies in my classroom when I taught third grade and now in fourth grade. I also use CAFE strategies from the two sisters. These strategies help students to identify parts of fiction and nonfiction texts for improved comprehension.

Why shouldn’t we use inferring and predicting skills in math? I teach my students to use these skills when reading math story problems to help them to understand what action or operation is happening in math. This helps the students gain math comprehension skills. Once they understand an equation, I ask them to predict what will happen if I change one part of the equation.

For instance, in primary grades, students should be able to solve 5 + 3 = ____. I would ask them to infer what action is happening in the equation. (Answer: Addition) Then I would ask them to predict what would happen to the sum if I change one of the addends? (If they need more information, I would change the 3 to a 4…they would need to understand the sum would become bigger by one more.)

Guided Reading groups from Fountas and Pinnell are set up with groups of students with similar reading needs. Guided Math does the same! Guided Math groups may be teaching the same skill but at different depths.

Do you have students try to visualize the action or setting in a story? Yes, many teachers do use verbalization and visualization techniques to help students to “see” what is happening in text. Why not use this with math equations? The students can verbalize what is happening on both sides of the equation. I have students visualize what is happening on both sides or even visualize and draw a picture so they understand what the math is asking them to do. This helps students to have a concrete strategy to use when given math equations or problems.

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