Thursday, 14 March 2013

Numeracy Dictionaries and how to teach the language of mathematics

This week, my 5/6 team was discussing that a great deal of our students struggle with questions in large part due to the mathematical language necessary to understand what the problem is asking for, and therefore can't answer a question they might otherwise have been capable of solving.

For example, if a question asks you to write six as an ordinal number, if you have no clue what an ordinal number is that is virtually impossible for you. In fact, the answer is 6th. My numeracy coach showed me a sheet set out similarly to the ones below except for mostly measurement and other concepts. I thought this was a brilliant way to teach mathematical language, so accordingly I created my own in the topics of place value, time and Cartesian planes (after I couldn't find similar ones online) which we have studied or are studying this term.

I'd been finding it difficult to display posters around mathematical language, despite otherwise having some fairly decent anchor charts around the topics we'd been covering. I'm going to blow these up in A3 to assist in that. Students will complete these two pages as an activity and stick them into the appropriate sections of their math dictionaries, which is a book we use to record key understandings, concepts, definitions and reflections during/at the conclusion of numeracy sessions. These are my creations below:

How do you teach mathematical language to your students?


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