Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Professional Reading #1

Share three pieces of academic or professional reading and explain how they and other sources helped your form hypotheses about aspects of teaching that might contribute to current patterns of learning. (WFRC#7)

Professional Reading #1: 
Understanding and Supporting Children's Mathematical Vocabulary Development
By: Rheta N. Rubenstein and Denisse R. Thompson
Rising Stars: Subjects Available To Students and Teachers

While reading this article, I there were a few points that stood out to me. They are:
  • Becoming fluent with mathematical terms, phrases, and symbols is vital to children's mathematical learning
  • Being more aware of issues of mathematical language acquisition and to be more creative and persistent in finding ways to support children't learning, teachers must first understand children't difficulties in making sense of mathematical language. 
  • Use Language Arts Strategies:
    • Keep a  "word wall"
    • Have students write journal entries
    • Draw cartoons
    • Write mathematical stories, skits, raps or poetry
    • Design bumper stickers
    • Word origins (introduce the "words behind the words" the origins/prefixes/suffixes)


  • Withhold the formal terminology and let students use materials to explore ideas, suggest their own terms and explain their rationale. (My wondering: At what point should formal vocabulary be used?)
  • Use open-ended prompting that provides teachers information about student misconceptions 
  • A major premise of any strategy is to connect new terms/phrases to ideas that children already know
  • When terminology is used incorrectly, restate the sentence appropriately so that children hear the correct usage. 
  • Use literature to introduce students to mathematical vocabulary
  • Play "I have...Who has...?"
My Applications:
This article pointed out a number of applicable strategies for me to try with my maths students. I really liked the section about applying Language Arts strategies to maths. Why wouldn't we? We are taught so often to compartmentalise each subject area when in reality they should merge together at some point and vocabulary is vocabulary no matter what subject area you are focusing on. This was a great article to reinforce that some of the strategies that I have been trying this year are on the right track.


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