Friday, August 10, 2012

Math Vocabulary: Graphic Organizers and Movement

Vocabulary in the math classroom can sometimes be challenging for students. Look at the chart below to see how math vocabulary can be looked at through different lenses.
Math vocabulary can have multiple meanings. Think about the word gross. A math gross (noun) is very different than a gross (adjective) mess. Some vocabulary words are specific to math so repeated exposure outside the math classroom might not often happen. Outside of the context of math, where have you seen the word algebra used? Whether through explicit or implicit instruction, students can benefit from vocabulary instruction that takes on multiple modalities.

When introducing math vocabulary, try using a graphic organizer. The Frayer model lends itself to differentiated math instruction. It also helps to represent words in more than one way. Click on the image to grab a copy. There are differentiated versions for the different learners in your classroom.

Memory for learning can be enhanced by utilizing movement for instructional purposes. The movement increases sensory input to the brain. (Wolfe 2001) Try adding movement activities to teach and review math vocabulary. If you click on the image below, you can find four different ways you can incorporate movement into the math classroom while teaching/reviewing vocabulary. These activities can be used as a "brain break" to get students up and moving while still learning! Use words that are part of your Math Word Wall to review. If you have other ideas of movement activities that can be used with vocabulary, please share! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Math Differentiation in a Nutshell Template

Elementary Example
With the school year just around the corner, we will be facing a whole new class of students with different readiness levels. How do we reach each student? Are there multiple entry points of learning so we can hook all our students? Do we have a list of resources/ideas to address those students who are below target, on target, and above target?

Middle School Example
This is a template I have used in the past to help brainstorm and create a resource for differentiation in the math classroom. You can see a few different examples and the variety of resources listed. Two of the templates were compiled by teachers in my district during some differentiation training I facilitated. One was completed at the elementary buildings. Currently, our math program is Trailblazers. Another one was completed at the middle school. Currently, our math program for grades 6-8 is Connected Mathematics 2 (CMP2). Once this template is filled out, it becomes a friendly reminder of "go to" resources when trying to address the various readiness levels of our students. This template certainly does not have to be completed by buildings. The benefit of this, however, is there are many teachers contributing ideas. Collaboration is a powerful tool!

Classroom Example
For personal classroom use, the template can be filled out for a particular concept. See my 3rd grade example using Common Core standard 3.MD.1. You can see how the Common Core standard is included. Specific activities/resources to address different readiness levels are listed as well. The key to any learning opportunity is closure/synthesis. Notice how I included "I can..." statements at the bottom of my 3rd grade template.

Some of the ideas/math tools listed on my 3rd grade differentiation template on time can be found pinned on my Pinterest. Click here and preview some of my boards. At this time, I have devoted Pinterest entirely to math! Need some ideas, find a board that relates to your topic of study and find resources you can use with your students to address their various readiness levels! It is amazing the resources that are out there that teachers are willing to share.

Grab a copy of any of these templates by clicking on the image or images of choice!
Blank Template