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Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Vocabulary Study Opens the Door to Understanding

"Mathematics is pure language - the language of science. It is unique among languages in its ability to provide precise expression for every thought or concept that can be formulated in its terms. (In a spoken language, there exist words, like "happiness", that defy definition.) It is also an art - the most intellectual and classical of the arts."
- A. Adler 

Often words distance students from understanding content.

The words stand tall like a wall preventing learning.

How can we take down that wall by teaching students the vocabulary explicitly.

There are many, many ways to learn vocabulary.

One simple, long held way is the use of crossword puzzles.

Tomorrow, my students will use a fraction vocabulary list to help them study vocabulary and complete the crossword puzzle. Afterwards they'll be invited to create mini vocabulary posters for words that they think will be challenging to remember and use.

I'll also show the students the films my students made last year to learn fraction vocabulary.

We'll look for more ways to study this vocabulary as the unit takes hold in the days and weeks ahead.