Yesterday I wrote that my students have trouble reading their textbooks. Today I started wondering how my screencasts fit into this. My screencasts so far are often a retelling of some part of the textbook. If I could say “read Ch. 13-4 for tomorrow and write down your questions,” screencasts would not be necessary. Are my screencasts a lost opportunity for reading practice?
Another thing: can text-comprehension strategies also help with math comprehension? What would happen if I taught students to read math the same way they read a sentence? Could I help them stop assuming that “y = 2x” means “2x causes y”? I mean, obviously, lots of times when they see this, x does cause y. But that’s not what the equal sign means, and they end up imputing an incorrect meaning to the left/right positions (in fact, their misconception is closer to the programming language meaning of the assignment operator). This misconception makes them see algebraic manipulation as nonsensical. After all, if x causes y, how can it possibly also be true that y causes x? (x = y/2)