Reflection: Lesson Planning Rounding to the Closest Ten Above One Thousand - Section 2: Guided Practice


Despite the fact the more than ½ of my class are reclassified English Language Learners (they entered school as dominant Spanish speakers but were exited from the SEI program through proficiency on a state language test) I still use a high academic register with them.  I think that rigorous vocabulary can be used with 2nd language learners as long as it is supported.  Also, they are all fluent in English so they have some basic vocabulary in place at this point.  When I taught students in an SEI classroom I still used rigorous vocabulary but I would be more careful about not using too many synonymous words in one lesson and would instead repeat the key terms themselves.

The disadvantage that Spanish speaking children in Arizona have is that they often don’t read in Spanish, as bilingual education is against the law here.  So while they may speak only Spanish at home, they read and write only in English.  Thus they are learning a lot of their academic vocabulary in English only.  This means that they may not have the advantage of bring a rich academic vocabulary with them from their first language into their 2nd language. 

Second language learners and English-only students both benefit from constant repetition of mathematical terms.  It is helpful to them to see the term used in a variety of contexts.  A few ways I support this are: I am explicit about changing nouns (example: factor, estimation) to verbs (factor, estimate).  I point out abstract/concept nouns (commutative property, distributive property, approximation).  I list synonyms verbally and in writing and as much as possible they are student generated.

Language is one of the most powerful (I think maybe the most powerful) tool some of us will ever have at our disposal.  It can lead us into new worlds, enable us to communicate with a diverse community of people, and in general can make our world a more beautiful place.  None of this can happen without constant reading and vocabulary building and it needs to happen in all subjects, all the time. 

I believe, and have anecdotal evidence, that one of the most powerful ways to enrich students’ academic English is to embed the vocabulary into my instruction and my casual conversations.  I find this to be preferable to the vocabulary building activities we were once mandated to complete with children.  (For example, four squares in which they had to write the word, the part of speech, a definition, a sentence and an antonym). 

I am providing key vocabulary lists as an aid to the teacher because I find it can be helpful to have them on the side of my planning notes.  I have then reminded myself to pay attention to the precision of my vocabulary when I’m discussing a certain math concept, skill, or dilemma. 

  Embedded Vocabulary and Grammar Instruction
  Lesson Planning: Embedded Vocabulary and Grammar Instruction
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Rounding to the Closest Ten Above One Thousand

Unit 7: Rounding
Lesson 4 of 7

Objective: SWBAT apply the principles of rounding to the closest tens to numbers greater than one thousand.

Big Idea: The principles behind rounding to the closest ten and hundred are EXACTLY the same whether the number is "small" (867) or "large" (123,867).

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