2016-2017 Graduate Catalog

EDUA 5379 The Language of Math

Mathematics has a language all its own. This language includes words and phrases that are rarely if ever encountered outside of math, such as divisor and trapezoid, and it assigns very specific meanings to these terms. Math also uses ordinary words and phrases in new and sometimes unexpected ways like product, factor, and mean. And then, of course, there is the dreaded word problem. If students do not learn the meanings of mathematical terms and understand how they are used, they struggle to comprehend mathematical ideas.

This course familiarizes the upper elementary and middle school teacher with the issues raised by the language of math, and helps the teacher avoid the potential pitfalls and misunderstandings caused when students do not fully grasp the meanings of important terminology. The course also points out potential difficult language and concepts, offers strategies for incorporating work with language into the mathematics curriculum, and connects math with reading and writing.