It cannot be denied that problem solving is an important part of Mathematics education. Mathematics, in general, is an important subject because of its practical role to a person and the society as a whole. However, before a student can successfully solve a problem, he has to possess good reading comprehension, as well as analytic and computational skills.
The Problem
Problem solving in mathematics and reading comprehension go hand in hand. Solving Math problems entails the students to apply two skills at the same time: reading and computing. It is a doubleedged sword.
As a public school teacher of sixth grade mathematics for five years, I have encountered many pupils who are poor in both comprehending and analyzing math word problems.
Specifically in my 20102011 class, only 11 out of 60 pupils could successfully solve word problems with or without help from the teacher. The rest needed to be guided to understand the problem. Approximately 82 percent find it hard to picture the situation indicated by the problem they are trying to solve. The slower ones would even ask the meaning of a certain word in the problem. When they have understood it, it is only then that they fully grasp the event and situation pictured in the problem.
Obviously, the bane of these pupils is the understanding of the contents of the math problems correctly and connecting the ideas expressed in it to fully grasp and find a way to successfully solve the problem.
The Causes
 Limited vocabulary in mathematics
 Lack of technique in solving word problems
The Solutions
Vocabulary
 Develop vocabulary before the beginning of the math class
 Establish a tutortutee relationship wherein a good pupil tutors or teaches a slower classmate assigned to him in areas of reading comprehension and problemsolving
 Provide interesting and challenging vocabulary activities involving mathematics vocabulary, such as contests and games
Comprehension
 Organize the given information in the word problem
 Use object representation and manipulatives to visualize word problems
 Substitute large numbers with easier numbers, or restate the problem in simpler terms
 Make a number sentence out of the word problem
 Use the “trial and error” method or the “guess and check”
Plan of Action
Objectives
 Improve the pupils' limited vocabulary and enhance reading comprehension ability of the students
 Develop the pupils’ techniques in solving word problems
Time Frame
This study will be conducted for one quarter, from July to September.
Target Subjects
The target subjects for this study are the sixth grade pupils of Zapote Elementary School during the academic year 20112012.
Activities to Be Undertaken
Target Date  Persons Involved  Activities  Expected Results 

July 12, 2011  School Head  A. Inform the school head about the action research to be undertaken  Granted permission to conduct the research 
July 15, 2011  Grade VI pupils Coteachers  B. Orientation of the pupils and coteachers regarding the action research  100% of the pupils and coteachers will be aware of the ongoing research 

 C. Improve the pupils' limited vocabulary words in Mathematics 

July 16, 2011  Grade VI pupils  1. Survey the Mathematics vocabulary skill of the pupils.  100% of the pupils will be surveyed 
July 18 to September 9, 2011  Grade VI pupils  2. Provide unlocking of difficulties through vocabulary development before the beginning of the Math class.  100% of the class will develop and enhance their Math vocabulary skill 
July 21, 2011  Grade VI pupils, Teacher  3. Establish a tutortutee relationship in reading comprehension and problemsolving wherein a good pupil tutors a slow classmate assigned to him  100% of the slow pupils will learn from their tutorclassmates 
July 18, 2011 until the end of the school year  Grade VI pupils , Teacher  4. Provide interesting and challenging vocabulary activities involving Math vocabulary such as in contestsand game.  100% of the pupils will participate more actively in discussions and activities 

 D. Develop the pupils' techniques in solving word problems 

July 25 to August 5, 2011  Grade VI pupils, Teacher  1. Draw a graph, chart, graphic organizer or list to help the students organize their information found in the word problem.  100% of the pupils will be able to organize the given data and connect the ideas expressed in the problem 
August 819, 2011  Grade VI pupils, Teacher  2. Ask the students to make representation of objects so they will be able to visualize the problem clearly. They can use ruler, play money, realia, blocks, dice, etc.  100% of the pupils can manipulate and be aided by these materials in solving word problems 
August 22 to September 2, 2011  Grade VI pupils, Teacher  3. Substitute large numbers by simpler numbers and use them instead of what are given in the problem, Problems can also be restated in much simpler terms.  100% of the pupils will be able to simplify the problem and substitute simpler numbers for the given numbers 
September 516, 2011  Grade VI pupils, Teacher  4. From the given problem, make a number sentence by substituting the English sentences into Mathematics sentences. Another technique is to translate the problem into a dialect most understood by the students.  100% of the pupils will be able to master writing the number sentence 
September 1923, 2011  Grade VI pupils, Teacher  5. Solve by "trial and error" or "guess and check" by using the answers provided in multiple choice problems.  100% of the pupils will be able to apply the guess and check technique 
Evaluation Criteria
The result of this research shall be reported after 100% of the Grade VI pupils have improved their Mathematics problemsolving skills.
Research Design
This action research is purely descriptive in nature and uses pretest/posttest results and survey results to address the pupils’ problem.
Activities  Data To Be Collected  Statistical Treatment 

1. Conduct a presurvey of the previous Math vocabulary and reading comprehension of students  Presurvey result  Average 
2. Administer the pretest  Result of the pretest  Percentage 
3. Conduct daily test on Math vocabulary  Result of the daily test  Percentage 
4. Conduct weekly test on problemsolving  Weekly test result  Percentage 
5. Conduct a postsurvey of the Mathematics vocabulary of the pupils  Postsurvey result  Average 
6. Administer the posttest  Result of the posttest  Percentage 
© 2012 lorenmurcia
Comments
penales26 on May 02, 2020:
good day, your research is very interesting because most of the time students is having a hard time in solving word problems. thank you for sharing this kind of research. Can i use your research as my guide and reference as well? Thank you and God bless you.
Natalie Nalapo on October 21, 2019:
Hello maam ..thanks for sharing ..can i ask a permission to use your proposal as a reference. This research caught my attention because in my class also the students aren't good in problem solving . I want to study this to improve the skills of my students.
TINTIN LACAMBRA on September 17, 2019:
Hello ma'am, I would like to ask your approval to use your questionaire and your study as my references in my research proposal? Rest assured that I am not plagiarizing your work, and you'll be acknowledge properly. I am looking forward for your favourable response. Gobless.
Josua Chavez Balitian on August 20, 2019:
thanks mam for sharing...can I ask your permission to use this research as my reference??I am a high school math teacher....thanks for your consideration...
Mirandie Lubaton on July 10, 2019:
Thanks for sharing. I am a High School Math teacher and i experienced similar problems with my students too. I just want to ask permission if i could use this research as one of my references in conducting a remedial class in our school to be given to our grade 710 students who have poor understanding of basic mathematical concepts. thank you.
Jayson Nedruda on April 24, 2019:
Vocabulary is fundamental to reading comprehension, one can't understand text without knowing what most of the words mean. Students must understand what they are reading, to gain knowledge and experience from their reading, to enjoy the process of reading, and to become lifelong readers. Increasing vocabulary knowledge is a fundamental part of the process of learning. Lack of it, is already an obvious and serious problems for many students, and the number of such students can be expected to rise if vocabulary will never be develop in the instruction for students
Jayson Nedruda on April 24, 2019:
Vocabulary is fundamental to reading comprehension, one can't understand text without knowing what most of the words mean. Students must understand what they are reading, to gain knowledge and experience from their reading, to enjoy the process of reading, and to become lifelong readers. Increasing vocabulary knowledge is a fundamental part of the process of learning. Lack of it, is already an obvious and serious problems for many students, and the number of such students can be expected to rise if vocabulary will never be develop in the instruction for students
Samantha Galigao on March 10, 2019:
Hi ma'am! Can I use this for our classroom action research?
pjgarciathoughts on June 27, 2018:
Hello po.. Can i use your study as my reference? God bless Mam..
Jesse14 on February 06, 2018:
Hi mam can i use your study as my action research. Thanks
enelragatchalian from philippines on October 26, 2017:
mam can i use your study as one of my reference?thanks. Godbless
enelragatchalian from philippines on October 26, 2017:
Mam, can I use you're study as one of my reference in conducting research similar to this?. Thanks :)GODSPEED
Sam Gier on May 09, 2017:
Thanks for sharing. I am a High School Math teacher and i experienced similar problems with my students too. I just want to ask permission if i could use this research as one of my references in conducting the same study. Thanks :)
mhieemhai on November 06, 2016:
Hi po I just want to ask permission in using this research as one of my reference in conducting the same study. Thanks :)
Flora Sudcalen on December 05, 2015:
Thanks for sharing.
edithamacorol2015 on January 02, 2015:
hi. i am interested in conducting a study similar to the premise of your research but in college freshmen. is it okay with you?
thank you very much.
More power.
Rosalina Cea from Baao, Camarines Sur on October 02, 2014:
The difficulty really lies on poor reading comprehension. It can be solved, I think by a curriculum same as ours in the early 6Os whereas far as I remember was more of reading in the primary grades. Nobody was unable to read in our class when we were in Grade l. Students opt to be absent when they are unable to cope up with lessons and later on dislikes going to school.
Missy Mac from Illinois on September 23, 2012:
Nice job! My action research was on Integrating Technology and testing pilot learning software. Thanks.
JERCAS on June 30, 2012:
I think this will be very useful to me cause I'm experiencing the same problem with my students. What was the result of the research you conducted? I am planning to do the same action research in our school... If you don't mind, can you give me samples of the tests you used to serve as my basis? thanks a lot.
oencan on June 21, 2012:
Thank you for sharing your ideas. I hope that this program will be realized and be a model to some, if not most, of our schools. God bless and more power!
lorenmurcia (author) on January 09, 2012:
Thank you, naynay2124. I wrote this because I am experiencing problems with my students with regard to their reading comprehension and their ability to analyze word problems. I am appalled that when they come to me as sixth graders, some can't even comprehend a very simple sentence in English!
NayNay2124 on January 08, 2012:
Lack of reading comprehension skills is a problem in the schools across the country. Maybe if schools would begin more aggressive reading programs in the earlier grades, this wouldn't be as much as an issue in the higher grade levels. This is an issue in many of our schools across the country. Also, parents should be proactive by spending more time reading with their children. I found your hub to be very interesting.