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Area of Focus
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Math
Grades:
K
1
2
3
4
5
Math
Grades:
K
1
2
3
4
5

Amplify and Facilitate Student Curiosity about Language

Do's & Dont's

Over the course of our careers, there have been multiple instances where we have introduced or used a word or phrase during our mathematics instruction only to learn later in the lesson that students were thinking of entirely different meanings. For example, during one lesson, a student wrote “kind of pets,” to label a graph, referring to different types of pets. When asked about the meaning of kind, his multilingual partner said that “kind means ‘nice.’” This led us to think more about the ways we craft our instruction to facilitate multilingual learners’ development of language, including specialized mathematical language. In addition, as we wrote and enacted mathematics curricula, we noticed how contexts, visuals, language, and instructions interfered with multilingual students’ learning of mathematics.

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