Accelerating Mathematical Achievement byUnlocking the Language of Mathematics Bill Smith Curriculum Coordinator Educational Consultant ASCD NCEA Title 1 March 2008
b I live and work in the world Of Mathematics
But I already have so much to do! I don’t know if I can do it!
How Are We Doing? Test yourself: answer True or False • 1. ______________ American students are more proficient in Reading than Math. • 2. ______________ Nearly 76% of K – 5 teachers prefer teaching Reading over Math. • 3. ______________ Nearly two-thirds of American grade 8 students lack proficiency in Math. • 4. ______________ Most states had a graduation rate of 90% or higher last year. • 5. ______________ The graduation rate in 2005 was greater than in 1970. • 6. ______________ Last year, 57% of 9th grade students who were not promoted to 10th grade dropped out of school.
Continued • 7. ______________ Most states require 90 minutes of direct math instruction per day. • 8. ______________ American students consistently score in the top quarter on international tests. • 9. ______________ 30% of all students entering 4 year colleges last year were required to take a remedial math class. • 10. _____________ The number of American students pursuing advanced math degrees has declined for each of the past three decades. • 11. _____________ Nearly 60% of American doctors reported that they had difficulty with mathematics. • 12. _____________ Research found that eating chocolate could improve your math performance.
At grade 3 over 15% of the students receive remedial math help At the end of grade 4 this number increases to almost 20% By the end of grade 8 almost 2/3 of the students fail to meet grade level standards You Do The MathRemediation Does Not Work
What is Needed? It is not more remediation! We cannot continue to waste students’ time…teachers’ energy…and taxpayers’ money on what doesn’t work!!
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” -Albert Einstein
It’s a New Mindset Acceleration of instruction. 15% are already here The other 70% 15% are struggling Now do the Math
Direct Instruction in the Language of Mathematics is the Key to Making ChangeIn Elementary and Middle School Math!
However, mathematics truly can be a “foreign language” to many students and even to many adults.
For too many students, math is something learned at school and is not even spoken at home.
Memories of Math Instruction Tales from the MATH Jungle
Building student confidence in using the language of mathematics will raise achievement and conquer the Fear Factor!
Attitudes about math can and are passed from generation to generation! The Math Gene
Reflect on This Teachers can compensate for academic gaps and make needed accommodations for learning styles…..but teachers can not often compensate for negative attitudes.
We need to help all children open the secret door to Mathematical Understanding.
And the Key to Unlocking the Math is Understanding the Language of Mathematics.
The Language of Mathematics is a tool for communicating and demonstrating understanding.
Research • All students need and can benefit from direct vocabulary instruction • What is lacking in most math classes is a systematic approach in teaching vocabulary and language • Without a solid foundation in the language of mathematics, students have increasing difficulties as they progress through the grades
The Challenges of the Language • Many math terms are spelled differently and have different meanings. • Then again…some words might be spelled the same and have totally different meanings. • And then, there’s a whole new world of technical terms.
The Top 10 Confusing Terms For My Students 10. Similar…like all others 9. Range…a place with cattle 8. Substitute…a new teacher to terrorize 7. Expression…what’s on your face 6. Pi…a dessert, or do you spell it desert
5. Property…what I own 4. Odd…yes, I sometimes feel this way in math 3. Mean…no, my teacher is really nice 2. Compute…but I do not have a computer 1. Right Angle…you mean there is no left angle
And the signs can also be confusing: < >, ≠, ∑, √, ≈, *,( ), ≥ ≤ , ∞, +, -, ÷, ×, %
Look at the Language As part of the mid-year assessment in a 2nd grade class, the teacher asked the students to “write the first 4 even, wholenumbers in order”. One student wrote 0, 6, 8, 9. When the teacher asked this student to look it over he changed the answer…adding 10 to the list. What was his reasoning?
Processing the Language Takes Time • Teaching vocabulary using a systematic approach is a powerful tool for student achievement • It takes time and practice • Model, clarify, and reinforce the language Marzano and Pickering 2005
Reflect on this statement:Many of us have mastered “street math” and retain little of our “school math.”Think, Pair, Share
The answer is 24. What is the question?
Children are learning their math facts differently. • investigating how facts relate to each other • developing patterns • applying number strategies • Children will be doing more than arithmetic. • Children will be striving to achieve high goals. • Children will be actively involved in doing mathematics.
Children will be speaking and writing mathematically. • Children will be working with one another. • Children will be evaluated in a variety of ways. • Children will be using math tools to solve problems. • Children will be using technology.
What Great Math Teachers Do Differently Understand the Math Able to break it down Focus on the Language of the Math Make Connections Utilize Multiple Strategies Assessment and Activities
Math is: • logical thinking • making connections • solvingproblems • communicating reasoning
And, the vocabulary provides a common language that can be understood by all. Student Learning Ahead
Geometry Patterns Measurement Data Analysis The Five Mathematical Food Groups + + + + Numbers & Operations =
Number Sense • understand and use numbers to communicate mathematically • represent and classify numbers • use operations and demonstrate how they relate to one another • compute fluently • solve problems • make reasonable estimates Activity Fun With Numbers
Having Fun With Money Below are ten occupations and a list of money. Match the amount of money to the appropriate occupations. • Hint: The clue is finding an amount that has something to do with the occupation. • Example: Optometrist =$20.20 What about $0.07?
Having Fun With Money 1. News Reporter a. $2.41 2. History Professor b. $36+$52 3. Ballerina c. $20.20 4. Sales Clerk d. $9.11 5. Piano Tuner e. $7.47 6. Telephone Operator f. $3.14 • Financial Planner g. $14. 92 8. Paramedic h. $22 9. Jet Pilot i. $4.11 10. Baker j. $401,000 Adapted from the work of Dr. Donna Knoell
The Beauty of Math A:1 B:2 C:3 D:4 E:5 F:6 G:7 H:8 I:9 J:10 K:11 L:12 M:13 N:14 O:15 P:16 Q:17 R:18 S:19 T:20 U:21 V:22 W:23 X:24 Y:25 Z:26 Use this mathematical formula to find the following percents associated with the following terms by adding the values of each letter. • K__N__O__W__L__E__D__G__E__= % • H__A__R__D__W__O__R__K__= % • A__T__T__I__T__U__D__E__= % Find out how far the love of god will take you: • L__O__V__E__O__F__G__O__D__= %
Patterns, Relations & Algebra • understand and utilize patterns • use algebraic relationships • use mathematical models to solve problems • determine changes