Best Vocabulary Practices to Support Mathematics in the Age of Common Core Standards
Mathematics can resemble a foreign language with its seemingly cryptic symbols and unknown terminology, challenging students’ ability to read, write, and communicate clearly. Some strategies that good readers use such as clues are rarely useful strategies for interpreting unknown word meanings (Roe, Stoodt-Hill, & Burns, 2004); a series of best practices in vocabulary specifically geared towards the field of mathematics is warranted. An examination of existing bodies of research ensued to identify the underlying difficulties related to vocabulary acquisition in mathematics, classification of vocabulary words, and specific vocabulary instructional strategies that support critical thinking skills necessary for mathematical knowledge formation and communication. This study aimed to equip mathematics teachers with a better understanding of vocabulary acquisition and how to effectively teach vocabulary to aid in mastery of skill, understanding, and communication of mathematical principles.
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