Leveraging the Mathematics Glossary
Every Carnegie Learning Texas Math Solution course has a Glossary. At times, the Glossary can be a static document that exists simply to check terminology definitions. However, we at Carnegie Learning hope that the Glossary becomes an interactive tool for your students to utilize and be able to call upon it, in order to claim ownership of their own learning. To download a PDF version of the Mathematics Glossary click here.
For all students, academic language is vital to the understanding and learning of academic content. Math concepts can often times feel difficult for students as they tend to compartmentalize math vocabulary based on when they learn a term and under what circumstances they learn it in. It is our recommendation that the Glossary be consistently available to all students to reference at any point during instructional time and while working on Assignments. The sooner a student can begin to make connections to the vocabulary within a lesson, the sooner they will begin to speak confidently in the classroom with you and with their peers about what they are learning.
Goals for Academic Language Acquisition:
- The Glossary should be used to effectively introduce new terms to students.
- The Glossary allows for a variety of modalities to introduce those terms based on the needs of your students.
- Reinforces the use of the terms and provides authentic opportunities to use the academic language with teachers and peers in small groups, whole groups, etc.
- For students in need of support, the glossary should be considered a tool in their toolbox that they can access at any point to support them. Students should feel they have agency over their learning to utilize the Glossary to support their speaking, listening or writing throughout the class period. All learners should feel agency to leverage the glossary.
Use the Glossary as a pre-teaching tool for your emergent bilingual students and special population students.
- Pre-teaching terminology will allow students to feel success before the content is being covered in the general education classroom.
- Help connect the dots and support the students and develop the skills they need to be successful in general education.
Scaffolding up for Gifted Students
The Mathematics Glossary can also be a great tool for your gifted students. Oftentimes, students are guilty of compartmentalizing academic vocabulary in just a singular content. For your gifted students, consider scaffolding activities that would encourage them to pursue cross-discipline and real world applications of academic terminology. How would this vocabulary be integrated into the real world and in the common language? What careers would use this language regularly and why might they use it regularly? By pushing your gifting students to begin to develop those real world connections to the vocabulary, it will help to compartmentalize the information they are learning and apply it in other disciplines as well.
- Reinforcing the understanding that the glossary and the vocabulary is not a one and done deal. This tool will succeed if you build it into your instructional time and if the repetition and consistent reminders become a regular part of your class routine.
- All students will benefit from academic vocabulary integration in the classroom.
- Maintain a consistent and concise definition for terminology. As we progress in our instruction, we often trend towards wanting to grow what a definition or term is meant to mean. This can muddy down the purpose of using the glossary and confuse students who are trying to assign consistent meaning to terminology.
- Glossary usage should be embedded in the instruction.
- Model in the classroom, word wall, anchor charts, etc. are utilized intentionally so students know they are free to use the language outside the classroom.
- Lesson should call out the need to use the glossaries.
Texas Math Solution Integration
When using the Carnegie Learning Texas Math Solution, there are several places where the Glossary and academic vocabulary should be highlighted and called out.
Students may come to a lesson with an understanding of terms and vocabulary outside of the classroom but struggle with the academic understanding. In the Texas Math Solution Warm Up there is a section at the bottom where we have a small blurb for students to “access points to prior knowledge”. After teaching the lesson, go back to the warm up and ask, “How has your thought and understanding changed?” This provides a great opportunity for differentiation if students have different levels of prior knowledge, and will allow you, the teacher, to see progress in understanding, maybe not quite on grade level, but still progressing.
As students are engaging in the Talk the Talk, remind them to have their Glossaries available and to look up words if they are unsure of the words they are trying to use etc.