Geometric Thinking; January 31st

What did you learn?

What stuck with me the most was the discussion about language in geometry.  I found myself thinking about all the specialized language that’s also used in algebra (what I’m teaching now), and realized that it’s a bit like learning a foreign language, except that the language learning part is implied and not really explicit.  I think in geometry there is more emphasis on vocabulary, but this is also important in other fields of mathematics.  I also got to thinking that students are likely to encounter other fields with specialized language, but that math might be the first major one.

What questions do you still have?

I want to know if a greater emphasis on language development in earlier math might not help students with their learning later down the road.

How can it apply to classroom practice?

I think I might try to take time out once or twice a week to talk specifically about terms, what they mean, and how they relate, to help students clarify their conceptual understanding.

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