Sunday, July 12, 2015

Building Mathematical Comprehension Chapter 2: Recognizing and Understanding Mathematical Vocabulary

            Hey everyone!  I’m back to link up with the Laney Sammons book study, Building Mathematical Comprehension hosted by A Teacher Mom.  Here are some of the key points that stood out to me in her 2nd chapter about math vocabulary.

            Vocabulary is defined as a “sum or stock of words employed by a language, group, individual, or work or in a field of knowledge” (p. 45).  I enjoyed Sammons’ point that when it comes to content area vocabulary, we should consider all of our students to be mathematics language learners (MLLs?).  She also validated what I have always known as a teacher of ELLs: “the vocabulary deficits of students have an enormous impact on their mathematics achievement” (p. 48).  Finally, a reason committed to print as to why ELLs seem to struggle so greatly in math! 

            This chapter presents several ways to engage students in learning mathematical vocabulary, including:
·      Encouraging Parental Involvement
·      Mathematical Discourse (creating a classroom environment full of math talk)
·      Mathematical Writing to Reinforce Vocabulary Knowledge
·      Mathematics Word Walls
·      Graphic Organizers
·      Games and Other Learning Activities

I really liked the ideas presented in this chapter about mathematical writing, of course utilizing the appropriate math vocabulary.  Students can be asked to:
  •  describe their knowledge of a particular math concept
  • list the steps in a problem-solving process
  • explain the strategy used to solve a problem
  • justify their mathematical reasoning
  • reflect on their learning
  • take notes
  • define mathematical terms or symbols

The last idea seems like a great way to practice math vocabulary without dedicating an entire journal to it.  It can be stored in an interactive math journal that contains ample examples of student problem-solving as well as important math notes and examples.    

            As far as graphic organizers go, I use them across content areas, but after reading this chapter, I’m going to try to incorporate them more often in math (the subject where I currently use them least often).  I think this would be a great tool to help students understand math vocabulary and how math concepts are related.

            This chapter also exposed me to some new, low-prep games.  Have you heard of Make My Day?  It’s a lot like I Have, Who Has, but the cards are not linked to each other.  The teacher facilitates asking for matches of certain cards.  I liked the idea of using this as a way to practice math facts.  Also, Talk A Mile A Minute was a game that sounds a lot like Catchphrase.  If only we could all get Jimmy Fallon to come to our classrooms and play a game with us, right?!

            I’ll be back soon to join the discussion on Chapter 3: Making Mathematical Connections.  And now, since I have Jimmy Fallon and Catchphrase on the brain, I’ll leave you with a fun video clip.  Enjoy your week!



Carla Mcdaniel said...

Useful suggestions ! Coincidentally , if people is wanting to merge two PDF files , my kids saw a service here

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