I have a quick true or false quiz for you about math and literacy:
If you answered “true” to all of the above, you got a perfect score. How did you do?
We know how important literacy is for student math achievement and that many math educators may not feel comfortable providing the literacy support students need. But the need is great: two out of three students read below grade level nationally, and the number of English language learners in U.S. schools continues to rise.
We can’t wait for someone else to teach our students the literacy skills they need for their math studies. How can we as math educators support all students to excel?
I taught secondary math for almost 15 years and worked with English language learners and students with varying literacy needs. I had to figure out a lot of tips and tricks on my own, and I’m passionate about bringing that experience to the work I do in developing our MATHbook.
One former student, in particular, stands out from my time in the classroom. An English language learner was reading a problem and mistook a period at the end of the sentence for a decimal point, and got stuck. Seeing the confusion between punctuation and mathematical notation drove home the impact that literacy support can have in supporting students as they learn mathematics.
Now, as I serve as Director of Instructional Design, Math 6-12, I get to share my years of experience and training with math teachers as I develop core curricula and work with teachers across the country in professional learning events. Let me go back to the quiz you took at the top of this page and share some research-based insight that I believe all educators should know.
So, what are concrete strategies math educators can implement in the classroom to support their students’ literacy development? Download the guide to get three research-based best practices for supporting literacy in math classrooms.
Sarah Galasso began her career teaching secondary mathematics in Anaheim, CA. Sarah’s passion for math education and supporting diverse learners led her to the University of CA, Irvine, where she worked to provide professional development for southern California school districts as they developed K–12 standards-aligned math curricula. She also partnered with Student Achievement Partners writing a series of blog posts on the Standards for Mathematical Practice for AchievetheCore.org. As the Director of Instructional Design, Math (6-12), Sarah applies her knowledge to help produce high quality instructional resources and tools to support student growth.Explore more related to this author