Data Analysis:• Student weaknesses included: – In English • Reading Comprehension – In Math • Polynomials, Real Numbers, Quadratic Equations, Cubics, and Radicals
Data Analysis:• Students 36 and older had lower pass rates than younger students.• No SPED trends were found• There was a higher percentage of women passing the English ECA than men.• There were higher percentages of men passing the Algebra ECA than women.
Algebra Focus:• Pertain to Chemistry and ICP – Working on graph reading – Reading for key information – Word Problems – Finding unknown quantities
Specific Techniques to Enhance Algebra Knowledge:• Graphing all measurements in labs – Asking students to find data and then insisting that students graph that data.
English Focus• Biology, Chemistry, ICP – Enhancing reading comprehension via • Reading for key information • Analyzing what you have read • Word problems • Introducing Case Studies • Using textual evidence to support an argument. • Reading from primary source material and relating it to class material. • Change assessment to reflect greater reading comprehension.
Specific Techniques to Enhance Reading Comprehension.• Know, Want to Know, Learned chart (KWL) – Students activate prior knowledge by writing what they would like to know about a topic. – Students then predict what they will read and ask questions based on their impression of the material. – Students have to pull key points out of the material and reflect on their learning.
Specific Techniques to Enhance Reading Comprehension• Concept Maps: – Students must reflect on their learning to make connections between topics. Instructor can then ask students (optionally) to explain why they made particular connections. – If concept maps are done in groups, students must discuss key points and connections as a group.
Specific Techniques to Enhance Reading Comprehension• Using Case Studies: – When using case studies to introduce content material and increase reading comprehension, students are forced to analyze text carefully for clues and to pull relevant information out to come to a conclusion. – Done in group form, students must discuss what they have read, which can further understanding.
Specific Techniques to Enhance Reading Comprehension• Using Primary Source Material: – Students are asked to read real articles related to science and in more advanced cases, articles from the primary literature. When coupled with class discussion and comprehension questions, this technique can familiarize students with reading for content and analytical thinking.
Specific Techniques to Enhance Reading Comprehension• Vocabulary/Word Wall: – Students are front-loaded with content-centered vocabulary as well as test-centered vocabulary. This can increase reading comprehension and reading fluency for source material as well as test material.
Specific Techniques to Enhance Reading Comprehension• Cornell Notes: – Students take notes that they are then asked to pull key points from and summarize on their own. – This helps students identify key points and think analytically about what they have learned.
General techniques for better testing:• Computer skills – Typing proficiency – Use of a mouse – Accommodations for older students who are not used to working from a computer screen. • Consider this as a factor for 36 and older students having difficulty on the ECA
Implementation in the Classroom• Greater use of these literacy strategies: – Asking the students to keep a notebook with or without Cornell Notes – Use concept maps as a review strategy before the exams – Setting up a word wall in the classroom, or spending some time to front-load vocabulary in each lesson – Asking students to do more computer-based work – Giving students primary source material and asking them to analyze articles based on work we are doing in class.
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