Reflection: ELL Students Sonoran Desert Scenarios: Addition and Subtraction Word Problems - Section 2: Active Engagement


This lesson is what I like to think of as a safety net.  It allows me to screen/ rescreen for students who are having difficulty with basic concepts while at the same time providing all students with valid practice on refining their precision in the use of those basic skills.  The ability to read and write number words is essential and it cannot be assumed that they come up from second grade with this skill.  Additionally, without cyclical practice this is a skill that can forget.  As more than half my class are native Spanish speakers, it's also essential that I provide repeated ELL support for common vocabulary, including number words.

At the same time that these one and two step word problems are providing practice with addition and subtraction skills, they are also providing language development for my ELLs.  I had most students work with a partner on this activity and they read the word problems out loud together and then identified the important information.  When I walked around to ask them what they were doing, I had them respond (as always) in complete sentences. The content is rich enough that it can at the same time stretch my students who need enrichment, which is almost all of them.  My class is a 5 day a week gifted program for top tier students who also happen to be at least 50% ELLs.

A specific language skill that is practice during this lesson is how to read proper nouns. There are many proper nouns in this exercise that give students repeated opportunities to practice chunking unfamiliar words, making reasonable phonetically pronounced guesses, and then moving on.  It is important that students make a reasonable attempt to pronounce an unfamiliar word, but it is also important that when they are reading they don’t get delayed by 30 second by every proper noun they encounter, especially when the context for the word can be easily determined.  For example, in #3, “Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico is a city in…” may be a mouthful for students who are not native Spanish speakers, but English phonemes work well enough AND, more importantly, whether the student can pronounce it or not, if they read on, they know that it is a city in Mexico!

  Differentiation within One Activity
  ELL Students: Differentiation Within One Activity
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Sonoran Desert Scenarios: Addition and Subtraction Word Problems

Unit 15: Solving Mult-Step Word Problems Using the Four Operations
Lesson 5 of 6

Objective: SWBAT read and write number words. SWBAT solve addition and subtraction word problems by identifying necessary information.

Big Idea: Numbers in context make more sense than they do in isolation.

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3 teachers like this lesson
Math, Social Studies, Number Sense and Operations, Word Problem, Operations
  60 minutes
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