Sunday, October 02, 2011

Developing Math Vocabulary

Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas. 
-Albert Einstein

Math is a language, and this week I'm exploring ways to help students learn the language of math.  How does anyone learn a language best--immersion: see it, say it, hear it, write it.

This week, the class will focus on vocabulary related to number sense.  Essentially the words we use to describe numbers and operations.

So far, here are the ways we have already worked with this and the ways I plan to extend this emphasis in the week ahead.
  • Math Talk: Discussing together that math is a language and just like we use language to describe characters in a story or people we know, we can use language to describe numbers.  Documenting the discussion on a Google doc for later review, share and conversation extension.
  • Comic Strip Creation: Collaborative groups create comics that define one term.
  • Crossword Puzzle Practice: Working on a crossword puzzle to learn words.
  • Problem Solving: Using math language when explaining a math problem solution. MCAS is one resource for great practice problems.
  • Assessment: Quick assessment to see who has grasped the focus vocabulary.
  • Math Dictionary: Utilizing optimal online and off-line math dictionaries.
  • Learning Tools Center: I am creating a tool center where all math tools and other tools for learning are clearly marked with names.  There will also be charts that list math tools that we use for equations and other mathematical processes. 
How do you foster math vocabulary understanding and growth in your classroom?  I am interested in learning about the many ways this can be successfully facilitated in classrooms.

Addition 6/1/14
Google Table Shared Math Dialogue Writing