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Student Engagement and the Language of the Mathematics Class – Podcast Episode 51 | Classnotes Podcast Episode 51

Classnotes Podcast (March 26, 2009) Effective math secondary teachers use words, visual display and gestures to help their students understand symbols and terminology. Just as hypercorrecting toddlers when they say “two foots” can slow language development, hypercorrecting students when they don’t use the precise terminology can hinder their math development. Jack Dieckmann, M.A., a former senior math education specialist at IDRA and current doctoral student at Stanford, describes the importance of using the language of the student and allowing for messy talk to help their students make meaning of math concepts. Jack is interviewed by Aurelio Montemayor , M.Ed., director of the IDRA Texas Parent Information and Resource Center.

Show length: 20:27.

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Texas IDRA Parent Information and Resource Center

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Show Notes

  • Jack talks about the importance of "language" and how it impacts the learning process in math classrooms.

  • Jack explains the symbolic thinking needed to learn algebra and argues that teachers must use language to help students make meaning of those symbols.

  • Jacks discusses the importance of gestures in teaching mathematics.

  • Jack explains why math teachers should use the language of the student, rather than "hypercorrecting."

  • Jack says that effective math teachers should allow for a "messy-talk period" in the classroom.

  • Aurelio asks Jack about the first wave of the "new math" teaching movement of several decades ago.

  • Jack explains why overly formalistic approaches to teaching math often fail.

  • Jack offers advice for the school districts that will train future math teachers.