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Mathematics - a language of its own
When it comes to teaching maths, which approaches really work? What helps a student understand the "language of maths"? A recent article in The Conversation explores maths anxiety and performance in students, and more importantly, how teachers are overcoming these issues.
Before a student can succeed in maths, they need to first understand the complexities of the dialect - because mathematics is just that, a language of its own. By instilling in students from an early age the fundamental basics of this language, they are able to gain confidence and understanding in their abilities, and adapt to concepts quickly. At Pearson, allowing teachers to foster these basics easily is a focal point and is something the award-winning enVisionMATHS series examines in detail.
To help nurture the first building blocks of maths understanding, the enVisionMATHS Teacher Resource Booklets provide teachers with different lists of the maths language and vocabulary that students need to be aware of for each topic. These lists are also incorporated into the Topic Opener Pages of the Student Activity Book and the Visual Learning Bridges, to begin to plant an understanding of correct language and terminology, even in a student’s formative years.
For students who are struggling with these building blocks, maths anxiety is real, and this affliction can create lasting stress on a student anticipating an upcoming maths test. For teachers, an emphasis on formative assessment in which the student receives constant feedback and monitoring is important. enVisionMATHS incorporates both formative and summative assessment with the use of the pre- and post-tests. The unique listing of the Observable Skills for each concept within each topic allows teachers to undertake meaningful and ongoing formative assessments. The Concept Check-In provides teachers with a quick and valuable snapshot of what their students currently understand, to inform them when a student may be struggling with a concept, or may need more observation.
Maths concepts are further developed in every stage of learning - to not fully understand a concept is a gap where a student may falter and lose confidence in their abilities. To allow teachers to help their students master these, enVisionMATHS supports teachers by being based on maths concepts, with a prime focus on students developing a deep conceptual understanding. The Visual Learning Animations and Visual Learning Bridges help to unpack the maths concepts easily, and the use of a small number of different styled questions promotes students’ conceptual focus and understanding, instead of rote or extended practice.
Finally, we understand that teaching is fluid - students learn in different ways and teachers must constantly adapt to deliver their classes in engaging ways. enVisionMATHS allows teachers to differentiate their teaching practices according to each student’s current skill level and ability. Using Concept Check-In helps them to first analyse the student’s needs, then allocate activities and resources, all ordered by topic, to their students. With the correct resources and teaching support available, both teachers and students can continue to develop their mathematical language and successfully apply their conceptual understandings.
Find out more about enVisionMATHS features and benefits.
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