Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Building Mathematical Comprehension Chapter 2
Mathematical Vocabulary, that's the focus of Chapter 2 of Building Mathematical Comprehension.
There are several ideas on graphic organizers and some bulletin board ideas offered in this chapter. To be honest, I didn't do as well with vocabulary this last year as I had in the past. As I reflected on the year, vocabulary building and instruction was an area I let slip. I know how important it is to teach proper vocabulary to students, especially in mathematics.
One thing that I think was very helpful to me was a professional development where we collaborated vertically with the grade level teams below and above us specifically in the area of vocabulary. We discussed the vocabulary that was currently being used and then suggested vocabulary we'd love for the grade level below us to begin implementing and using. This was very eye-opening to my team as we spoke with the 6th grade team. We learned that there were some key vocabulary terms that if we used in 5th grade, would be tremendously helpful to students in 6th grade as they deepen their level of mathematical knowledge.
I would strongly encourage you to get with the grade level teams ahead of, and behind your own and have a vocabulary conversation. It can be informal and take just a few minutes. You might be surprised at what you discover either about your own instruction or the instruction that might be happening before your students arrive in your classroom.
I think it's extra important for primary grade teachers to use correct vocabulary. As a first grade teacher, I was certainly guilty of using "simple" names for math terms because I thought the true vocabulary words would be too difficult. I soon realized that if taught correctly and used over and over, young students can understand the vocabulary just fine and it sets them up to be more successful in the future.
One of my summer tasks is to create a template/master of a student interactive math notebook to guide me through next year. Vocabulary will be a strong part of that notebook.
How do you make sure your students get explicit math vocabulary instruction? Be sure to check out the other posts on Chapter 2 linked up below.