What is 3-Read
3-Read is a mathematics and language comprehension strategy designed to delay the rush to an answer, deepen student understanding of both the situation and the mathematics, and help students make sense of a problem before setting out to solve it.
Step by Step
1. First Read: Teacher reads the problem stem orally.
The teacher may have visuals to accompany the oral read of the problem stem. Students listen to the story with the goal of turning to a partner and sharing what they remember of it. Memorizing it is not necessary.
Key Question: What do you notice about this scenario? What is going on? What image comes to mind?
The emphasis on on understanding the context and making connections to real life, not the mathematics.
After the Turn-and-Talk, the teacher asks students to volunteer information they remember from the story. Teachers and students ask clarifying questions about the vocabulary as needed.
2. Second Read: Class does choral read or partner read of the problem stem.
The teacher projects the problem stem so the whole class can see it. The teacher leads the class either in a choral read of the problem or has partners read the problem orally to each other. Choral read is preferable because it allows all students to participate without excessive pressure, but a partner read can work fine if that is a better fit to the classroom culture or age of students. The teacher explains that math stories usually have information about quantities (numbers) and the units that are being counted.
Key Question: What are the quantities in the problem? What do they mean? How are they related?
An example is 25 cats, where “25” is the quantity and “cat” is the unit. Sometimes the quantities are implied. For example, “some cats” implies a quantity but we do not know what it is. There can also be implied units. An example is “I have one at home.” The implied unit in this case depends on the context of the story. Bottom line: The discussion of quantities and units can be important for focusing student attention, but how deeply the teacher delves into the explicit and implicit information depends on the math and language objectives.
3. Third Read: Partner or choral read the problem stem orally one more time.
The teacher asks students to do one more read of the “story” and asks them to think, “What is missing to make this a good math problem?”Students volunteer their answers to that question. Responses will likely vary because many students assume there is a question without actually reading one. Without correcting student responses, the teacher probes until the class decides that a question is missing. The teacher asks, “Is there only one question that we can ask of this story?” Students responses may vary, but there are usually many different questions that can be asked of almost any scenario.
Key Question: What mathematical questions are you wondering about?
Or, if there is a question that is asked, what is the question asking you? What units will the answer be in? What is a reasonable answer?
The teacher asks partners to determine at least two questions that can be asked using the problem stem. Students share their questions. The teacher writes a couple of the questions and clarifies language as appropriate. After each question, the teacher asks the class, “Can this question be answered with the information from this story?” and the class discusses why or why not.
SFUSD Math Website