Date of Award

6-2005

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

Abstract

This study sought to determine the effectiveness of incorporating literacy strategies during math instruction. In distinct lessons, a class of sixteen students was given instruction in the strategies of using key words, visualization, and graphic organizers to solve word problems. The students rated the difficulty of the problems on a scale of "too easy", 'just right", and "too hard" both before and after the reading strategy lessons to assess if the use of the strategy changed their perception. The test-retest with equivalent forms method of estimating reliability was used to give a measure of stability and equivalence. A matched pair analysis using the t test of significance was performed to determine if there was a significant correlation between the pre-test and the post-test after instruction in the use of comprehension strategies for solving math word problems. Triangulation of the data was used to establish the validity of the results. Each student's independently assessed reading level was examined to determine if there was a relationship between reading proficiency and the results of the mathematics assessment. Previous math assessment was examined for a correlation with current scores. The students' perception of the difficulty they experienced in their attempt to solve the word problems was analyzed for a possible correlation with their test results. Students demonstrated an increase in 'performance level scores for each strategy between pre-test and post-test. The second trial of visualization produced a significant change from pretest to post-test scores. Most students preferred using visualization as a strategy to help solve mathematical word problems. Future research using a larger and more diverse student population could lead to a better understanding of the relationship between literacy strategies and mathematical reasoning.

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