covering english to help children word problems and comprehension
At Cuemath, English is the medium of instruction for all grades. While there are no special workbooks or modules for teaching English, the program as a whole does result in the improvement of English reading and comprehension.
- Cuemath promotes learning through reasoning, which requires a strong focus on reading and comprehension.
- The Cuemath method requires students to be self-paced for building their own mental models. This needs them to make sense of what they are reading, independently. The teachers will cue, but will never broadcast.
- Word problems are an integral part of math learning at Cuemath.
We get asked by a lot of parents, if we can or we do cover English learning too, in Cuemath classes. We are a math learning company and it has been our sole focus since our inception. However, we do understand that reading and comprehension of English is a very important aspect of learning and the Cuemath program does contribute to it to some extent.
Here’s how Cuemath helps improve these skills:
Learning through reasoning
There are multiple types of reasoning skills that are needed for learning. But broadly these can be divided into verbal and non-verbal reasoning skills. At Cuemath both of these reasoning types are employed to teach.
- There are some tab-based aptitude exercises, puzzle cards and pictorial representation of concepts for the students to learn various math concepts and skills.
- The other set of activities, puzzle cards, and workbook questions would require the student to read and understand the instructions to complete them accurately. Any misunderstanding of these instructions would lead to an incorrect attempt to solve the problem and the relevant feedback will allow the student to rethink their approach. This way the students slowly improve their ability to read and comprehend instructions and explanations.
- Every time they encounter a new word or there is some confusion about what the problem is directing them to do, the teachers will assist them in comprehending the problem.
Cuemath method ≠ broadcast
The cuemath method forbids the teachers from explaining the entire problem or breaking it down for the child in a manner that hinders learning.
- As a self-paced learning program that emphasizes learning the ‘why’ before the ‘what’, the students would first need to attempt to understand the problem on their own.
- If they do not understand, the teachers will work with the students by asking questions like:
· Can you read the first line and explain, what do you understand?
· Is that sentence relevant to the problem?
· What else do you know from reading this sentence?
· What are you expected to find out from this problem?
- The teachers will never broadcast:
· It is seen in a lot of traditional programs that the problems are directly solved on the blackboard and the students are expected to copy them onto their workbooks/notebooks. They will later memorize this through rote, without comprehending the problem or the solution. That never happens at Cuemath.
· Each problem that needs to be solved by the student, whether it is a concept-based problem, or an aptitude/creative reasoning based one, the student is given an opportunity to solve it independently.
· The workbooks are built in a manner to help the student learn using pictorial methods first and the complexity of instruction is increased slowly to help them progress through their reading ability.
Word problems at Cuemath
There are problems across math domains in Cuemath which rely on Student’s ability to read and comprehend. The complexity of these word problems, in terms of both language and explanation.
See the examples here to understand how are word problems integrated into learning at Cuemath:
A workbook problem for grade 3 students
A module assessment question of Grade 6 student
A puzzle card that could be assigned to 3-5 grades’ students based on their ability
So, to summarize:
- Students are encouraged to independently read, comprehend and solve word problems of varying complexity, which builds those skills over a period of time.
- Teachers are trained and encouraged to cue the students and ask probing questions to help them comprehend instead of broadcasting or simply explaining the problems or solutions.
- Word problems are made an integral part of the Cuemath learning system that allows linguistic skills to be built.
- All these will lead to improved English language skills, though Cuemath does not specially build curriculum or exercises for learning English.