Literacy in Mathematics
This aim of this resource from the National Strategies, which was one of a series of Literacy in … series, was to exemplify aspects of the Literacy across the curriculum training file for individual subjects. It was intended to be used either within a mathematics department or as a self study module to develop consistent approaches to teaching and learning in literacy across departments, to build increased awareness of the skills, knowledge and understanding that students could be expected to bring to lessons and to use speaking and listening to develop subject learning.
There are four modules, each of which had activities to be carried out in the classroom and were linked to the objectives in the framework for teaching English:
Module 1: Speaking and listening
This module discusses why talk is important in mathematics and explores the implications for teaching. It considers how to organise discussion effectively and explore how oral frames can support discussion. One task is to analyse some students’ talk in mathematics.
Module 2: Reading
In this module the skills of reading in mathematics and the variety of different text-types used are explored. Two strategies to develop students’ reading skills (modelling the process of reading and using active-reading strategies) are suggested.
Module 3: Writing
The different types of writing required in mathematics are considered in this module. A video sequence demonstrates the use of modelling to develop writing in mathematics. There is a task in which strategies to develop and practise writing skills are explored.
Module 4: Mathematical vocabulary
In this module the importance of language in mathematics is identified. Ambiguity in mathematical vocabulary is considered and a look is taken at activities to develop the use of mathematical vocabulary. Strategies for teaching students how to learn and retain spellings are covered.
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