Tuesday, September 8, 2009

S-A and Serve-A: The Language of Students

A goal for our math students is immerse them in discussions in the language or words to develop a language of math.

Last week, we discussed the first two graphs of several graphs in a blog post based on a survey students took earlier in the week. Seventh and eighth graders discussed:

What does a graph mean?--
What do you notice?
What are the facts?
How do you know?
Is the graph fair?

numbers of students
numbers on the graph
answers on surveys

Students stated facts:
Seventeen of the students (35%) who took the survey prefer to play sports after school.

Students discussed opinions:
Most people don't like talking on phone with friends.

Students analyzed the numbers.
Some students figured out that 48 students took the survey.
After looking at class enrollement, students noted that three more people chose their grade as "7" than actually are enrolled at that level.

Students discussed fairness:
Most of the students filled out the survey (84%). The survey could be fair, more fair than if only ten people completed the survey.
Some people did not fill out the survey correctly (too many seventh graders). So maybe the other answers are not accurate either.

We ran out of time to blog, so we blogged this week, referring to the four questions and student notes. We reviewed first for the five people who did were not their. Not all students completed the blog; we still have on more class to blog.

However, from these eight students, who could orally discuss the vocabulary of math ideas, their written words show us why we need to provide this opportunity more often:

short responses -- not nearly the ideas we discussed

Like my students who write "I hate writing S-As" (essays), our math students have as much written math vocabulary to learn as they do oral math vocabulary. Will blogging help student written and math thinking and vocabulary? Check back later and we'll see...

Sheri Edwards
Reflect curiosity and wonder...
Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness..

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