It is hard to believe that school has been back for a few weeks already!
Over the summer break we have been busy creating extra support materials for teachers.
Jack Bana, Linda Marshall and I created the Junior Illustrated Maths Dictionary (as the name implies, it is aimed at younger children). The idea is that the dictionary becomes a living document for a class or individual students where the definitions are expanded. For example, under the word triangle a class might all agree that a picture might be added showing a triangle rotated so that it looks like a Give Way sign. Plenty of space has been provided so that the definitions and pictures may easily be added.
This book is just one of a suite of materials designed to build the mathematical vocabulary of students and hence their ability to comprehend and solve word problems. Linda Marshall and I have written a 44 page book on how to use a ‘Mystery Bag’ or ‘Mystery Box’ to improve young students’ oral language skills as they relate to Maths Concepts. A Mystery Bag is simply a drawstring bag. Objects are placed into the bag and students use their sense of touch to determine features of the objects.
Here are some of our previous Maths Literacies titles:
- My Word Book – a list of maths words broken up according to Year Level and topic
- Free Download of Year 3 NAPLAN words flash cards
- Barrier Games – the use of expressive and receptive language in mathematics
- Abacus Educational sells a neat barrier games kit that may be used in Mathematics or Literacy lessons
- Maths Terms and Tables – a maths dictionary for students in year 4 to 9, parents and teachers, and
- Check The Clues – a series of cooperative group cards that aid in the development of comprehension
All of these materials form part of a Mathematics Vocabulary Routines Menu that we have put together. The purpose, like any menu at a restaurant, is to pick one or two things to try.
The menu is continually evolving. We have left space for teachers to add their own maths Vocabulary routines. We think about 8 routines would be plenty to try over the course of a Year – maybe four in a term. Different teachers can try them and report back on how well they worked with their students.
The purpose of improving mathematical vocabulary is to help students solve problems. We have created some Problem Solving cards for middle and upper primary students to try. We are calling this Problem of the Week and we will provide a problem each week for the next eight weeks for your students to try.
We hope something here can be of use in your classroom.