Vito Prosciutto: Teaching community college math on the road to a PhD.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Literacy in math class 

I can't find the original blog posting (so if it's yours, leave me a comment and I'll properly link it), but I read something someone wrote about using textbooks in science classes that I think can be translated really well to math classes as well:

The teacher in question talked about how reading science texts is an alien experience for most students (the same thing applies to math), and so she has her students read through passages in the textbook together and she teaches them how to read these dense texts and how to pick out the important information.

Talking about this with classmates today and on Wednesday, the consensus seemed to be that this was a really good idea. In many math classes that we've seen (and experienced) the textbook is little more than a repository for homework problems.

I suspect that the ability to read a math textbook can make the difference between a student being a student who "gets" math and a student who does not.

So if you're that original blogger and you see this, please leave me some comments. I'd love to discuss this some more.

Update: I heard back from Ms Frizzle who was the teacher to whom I was referring.

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