Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Topic: The Vocabulary of Mathematics (continued)

Purpose of this blog: Reviews of interesting ideas in past professional English education journals.

10-second review: The vocabulary students need to know in order to solve the following math problem: “Find four consecutive odd integers when the first, second and third integers minus the fourth equal 26.”

Title: “Teaching the Vocabulary of Mathematics Through Interaction, Exposure and Structure.” AB Pachtman and JD Riley. Journal of Reading (December 1978), 240-252.

How to deal with students’ vocabulary needs in solving math word problems

.Select problems to be taught which represent the mathematical concepts you wish students to learn.

.Identify and list the vocabulary contained in the word problems that students need to know in order to read, and solve the problem: consecutive, odd, integers, equals, exceeds, adds, find, change, results, multiplying, compute, total, greater than, solve, product.

.Add to the list mathematical concepts implicit in the problem but which are not directly represented by vocabulary terms: properties, commutative, associative, distributive, operations, addition, multiplication, substituting, equivalent.

.Arrange the words in a diagram or structured overview which depicts the relationship among these terms:

Odd, consecutive, even

Commutative, associative, distributive

Addition: sum, add, greater than --total, more, compute
Multiplication: result, change, substitution, solve, equivalent, equal-- product, times, multiply

Comment: I confess I do not understand the language as a math teacher would. RayS.

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