Improving High School Students’ Understanding of Application Problems

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Improving High School Students’ Understanding of Application Problems

Maricruz Cantu
ID# 100375226

Professor: Dr. Jaime Curts
University of Texas-Pan American

Presently there is a tremendous concern among educational leaders and teachers about students’ performance in state testing. 21st Assessments in mathematics do not consist of mastering a mere skill but to be able to devise a plan to solve real world applications. Despite the efforts of mathematics teachers in instructing students, the assessments’ results show the lack of comprehension on the students’ part. The following investigation will demonstrate how students’ lack of understanding in word problems will improve after following a well developed intervention program which can aid students’ understanding in particular concepts in mathematics, such as application problems involving equations and inequalities.

Equation- an expression or a proposition, often algebraic, asserting the equality of two quantities.

Inequality- a relation that holds between two values when they are different (see also: equality). The notation a ≠ b means that a is not equal to b, however it could be < or > other possibilities are > ( greater than or equal) and < (less than or equal)

Control Group- (in an experiment or clinical trial) a group of subjects closely resembling the treatment group in many demographic variables but not receiving the active medication or factor under study and thereby serving as a comparison group when treatment results are evaluated.

Experimental Group- (in an experiment or clinical trial) a group of subjects who are exposed to the variable under study.

Zone of Proximal Development- the distance between what a learner can demonstrate without assistance and what the learner can do with assistance (Huebner, 2010).

According to research there is several intervention methods which can be use to assist students in need of conceptual understanding. Researchers J.M. Francisco and C. Maher claim that the use of different intervention strategies in an outside of the classroom setting will help struggling students improve in grasping mathematical concepts. (Walshaw, 2011) (A strong basis on solving word problems thru scaffolding techniques, interventions for application problems and other innovations in instruction will be used with PSJA Memorial 11th grade mathematics students to increase the level of understanding of application problems. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

Plan of Action/Data Analysis
Education leaders and teachers must formulate a plan of action before attempting to help struggling students. The methodology to instruct low-achieving students should be selected by using data analysis from previous examinations to determine the best approach to provide the required individualized assistance needed. Researchers at the National Center the General Curriculum agree with researcher Hall’s idea of prescribed instruction (Huebner, 2010). According to Hall differentiated instruction should be defined as …a process to approach teaching and learning for students of differing abilities in the same class. The intent is to maximize each student's growth and individual success by meeting each student where he or she is . . . rather than expecting students to modify themselves for the curriculum. (Hall, 2002) Therefore, educators must use students’ history by utilizing data analysis to focus in what the student knows and decide the next step to follow. Using this strategy will aid the instructor in staying within the zone of proximal development (Huebner, 2010). Selecting Adequate Interventions

Mathematics interventions are recommended when students are not performing in the regular setting and promise to motivate students and to gradually scaffold their understanding of prerequisite skills to arrive at the desired mastery of the required...
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