ABE Teaching & Learning Advancement System

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Content Area Vocabulary

The authors suggest a set of questions to guide teachers decisions about what vocabulary to teach. They also suggest some effective strategies for vocabulary acquisition.

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TAGS: ESL, ELL, integrating language and math

Elementary Always, Sometimes, Never

In Always, Sometimes or Never, students identify whether a mathematical statement is always true, sometimes true, or never true. This link offers statements appropriate for students in early math levels - mostly CCRS levels A and B. This activity can be adapted to any level or content by changing the mathematical statement students are working with. Students might evaluate the statement "triangles have a point on top," or they might evaluate "x squared is greater than x." For more ideas, a teacher explores that activity here.

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TAGS: CCRS, Level A, Level B, Level C, Mathematical Practice 3, MP-3

ELL Math

This teacher, who teaches a math class for "primarily refugee" students who speak very limited English and a variety of primary languages, writes about strategies he is using and about his work with pre-service teachers. The whole blog is worth a look. In this post he writes about one of the tools he is using to differentiate part of his class "so students with a strong mathematical background in their own country can advance while the students with a weak background can get feedback and work on the problems they need."

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TAGS: Mathy Mcmatherson, Schneider, Khan Academy, digital, ELL

Fraction Misconceptions - from Recovering Traditionalist blog

How does the language that teachers use to describe fractions affect students' understanding of fractions? In addition to exploring this question, the writer suggests some strategies for building number sense around fractions, as well as making sense of a Common Core/CCRS standard about fractions.

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TAGS: fractions, CCRS, Level B, Level C, 3.NF.1

Fruit Splat: Numbers to Words

Can your student match the word and the digit (for example - "five" and "5")?  This fun online activity will let them practice.

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TAGS: beginning numeracy, literacy, words, ESL, ELL, Low Beginning, online activity, basic digital literacy, 2.NBT.3

Let's Laugh About Math

In this 11-minute video is Laila Nur's talk from Shadow Con 2015. In it she suggests using humor to build students' relationship with Math.

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TAGS: Danielson, MTBOS, TMWMK, Shadowcon

The Problem with Math is English

The Problem with Math is English. Molina, Concepcion (2012). Available at many libraries, bookstores, through Amazon and Powell's, etc. (ISBN-13: 978-1118095706)

Molina explores the relationship between mathematical instruction and language. There is also a recording of a webinar with Molina here

From the publisher:

Published in partnership with SEDL, The Problem with Math Is English illustrates how students often understand fundamental mathematical concepts at only a superficial level. Written to inspire "aha" moments, this important new book offers teachers the tools they need to help their students identify and comprehend the nuances and true meanings of essential math concepts—such as multiplication, division, fractions, place value, and much more—by exploring them through the lenses of language and symbolism.

The Problem with Math Is English explains how language-focused conceptual instruction leads students to a deeper understanding than traditional procedural-based teaching methods. By placing emphasis on truly understanding math concepts, Dr. Molina shows that teaching math becomes easier when teachers are able to communicate the language, symbolism, and representation of math to all of their students.

"Teachers of mathematics of all levels who read and spend time with this fun and challenging book will strengthen their content knowledge and find confidence in their own ability to think and reason. When teachers truly understand and embrace the mathematics/language connections so richly illustrated in the book, they will be able to pass on to all of their students a depth of mathematical insight and joy they may never have imagined before." (See more at Powell's)

TAGS: book, Como Molina, vocabulary, language learner, ESL, ELL

The Story of Two Words and One Simple Tweak to Get Students Talking

This teacher shares some observations about attending to vocabulary in math instruction and shares a strategy for helping students access unfamiliar vocabulary in math class.

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TAGS: Sarah Van Der Werf, #MTBOS, vocabulary

Which One Doesn't Belong?

With the help of this website, show students a group of 4 images. Ask students to discuss which one does not fit in the group and why. Because a sensible argument can be made for all of the options, rich mathematical discussion is possible. Teachers may want to consider offering sentence frames for discussion. Many of the resources can be used at multiple math and language levels, making this resource perfect for students with limited literacy and groups of students with multiple levels of math proficiency.

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TAGS: CCRS, Level A, Level B, Level C, Level D, Level E, number sense, geometry, beginning numeracy, ESL, ELL, writing, speaking, evidence, Christopher Danielson, MTBOS, #mtbos