Wrapped up our twitter book chat this week over
#lit4math – Literacy Strategies for Improving Mathematics Instruction by Joan M. Kenney, Euthecia Hancewic, Loretta Heuer .
You can read (here) how I am not a fan of writing and words. Literacy – communication – its all the same, in my opinion; You can read, write, speak – but its all to share/get information, right? I do realize the importance of providing students with strategies that will help them succeed, to give them opportunities to write and talk about their thinking can be a key component in their learning to help expand their understanding of certain concepts. I look at this chance to learn about literacy in math as a way I can learn with my students – to be open that words are my weakness – but by facing my fear – something I struggle with – I can help them realize words are not the enemy either. I am able to help them learn this “new language” called math and share ways of conquering it !
Though this book did not end as strongly and wow! as it began, it was worth my time. Chapter 1 really pulled me in, causing me to think about my classroom, questioning some of my strategies and left me craving more! It showed me how students – who are not as math-minded – can struggle because they view concepts differently. Chapters 2 and 3 – gave me tools / suggestions of ways I could provide students with opportunities to share – ways I could become more aware of their thinking – and prepare for their struggles. Through our chats, I was able reflect how I could improve things I am currently doing – but also looking at new ways of viewing mathematical text and ideas (literacy really isn’t a 4-letter word).
The remainder of the book, well, I was diasppointed – but would still recommend at least a skim – because there are some key ideas – but mostly, some great articles/research mentioned you may wish to take a look at as well.
I’ve linked to catalog from Storify of our Twitter Chats – again, some good thoughts – good articles and links. Also, take a look here, Teaching Statistics Blog offers some reflection with posts from reading the book in 2010.
June 11 – Chapter 1 Mathematics as a Language
June 14 – Chapter 2 Reading in the Mathematics Classroom
June 18 – Chapter 3 Writing in the Mathematics Classrom
June 21 – Chapter 4 Graphic Representation in the Mathematics Classroom
June 25 – Chapter 5 Discourse in Mathematics Classroom
June 28 – Chapter 6 Creating Mathematical Metis
All in all – it really boils down to becoming aware of those struggles students will encounter and being ready to help them bridge past that struggle. Notice I didn’t say be the bridge – productive struggle is a good thing. We must give them opportunities to read, write and share – expanding their understanding by listening to other learners. When they write about their thinking – cognitive demand is much higher. We must listen to their conversations – not always answering their questions, but providing them with questions that will move their thinking deeper. When they talk, discuss, even argue over a solution – they have greater opportunities to build connections as opposed to a sit-n-get teacher centered classroom.
@pamjwilson to get students actively engaged, the tchr must 1st be actively engaged- listen, question, be less helpful #lit4math
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5. Teach reading (and other forms of literacy) as inquiry, exploration, and research