May 5, 2016

Mathematics Teacher Article (1)

The new issue of Mathematics Teacher is out from NCTM. A while back I decided that as long as I pay so much for membership I should at least read some articles! I've been tweeting about them but apparently not using a hashtag so they're hard to find. So hard to find that Dan didn't realize there were any! Maybe we could start using #MTNCTM? For this week though, I'll blog my responses. Go #MTBoS30! 

First up I chose Teaching Mathematics and Language to English Learners

This paragraph struck me:

"Incorporating short writing activities in the classroom is one way to boost language practice opportunities. Having your students explain their steps in complete written sentences using sequencing words (such as firstnextthenfinally) can help reinforce vocabulary and content understanding while also providing EL students with a chance to do some thinking about a particular problem before discussing it aloud in class."

Last week my co-teacher was working with a student in study skills (study hall plus to fit the time on learning law in MA) and so she knew that the ELL class was working on comparisons. Then this week we were doing exponents including powers of two and so wrote sentences including "half as big as" and "twice as big as." Our student in the same ELL class was able to jump right in and my co-teacher made the connection. It would be great if we were able to communicate better between courses - when they were doing comparisons they could do some mathematical comparisons to support our content. And if we knew what vocab they were working on in ELL class we could incorporate it when possible. Sequencing words don't seem like academic language I would make sure to teach but they're definitely useful words that students need to know for academic success. New goal: make a point to stop by an ELL class during a prep block next week. even glancing around at their word wall (which I assume is more impressive than mine!) would be a helpful first step.

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