Effective Strategies for Teaching Content Vocabulary in Mathematics

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EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING
CONTENT VOCABULARY IN MATHEMATICS

By

Courtney Taylor

A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment
Of the Requirements for the Degree of
Master of Science in Education
Department of Language, Learning and Leadership
At the State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, New York

May 2009

__________________________________________________________ Dr. Barbara MalletteDr. Anna Thibodeau
Thesis AdvisorDiscipline Chairperson
College of EducationCollege of Education

___________________________
Dr. Christine Givner
Dean of the College of Education

___________________________
Dr. Kevin P. Kearns
Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies & Research
State University of New York at Fredonia
Department of Language, Learning and Leadership

CERTIFICATION OF THESIS WORK

We, the undersigned, certify that this thesis by Courtney Taylor, EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING CONTENT VOCABULARY IN MATHEMATICS candidate for the Degree of Master of Science in Education, LITERACY EDUCATION: 5-12, is acceptable in form and content and demonstrates a satisfactory knowledge of the field covered by this thesis.

_______________________________ _______________________
Thesis Director: Date
Department of Language, Learning, and Leadership

______________________________ ________________________
Chair: Dr. Anna Thibodeau Date
Department of Language, Learning, and Leadership
STATEMENT BY AUTHOR

This Master’s Thesis has been submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for a Master of Science in Education, LITERACY EDUCATION: 5-12 at State University of New York at Fredonia and is deposited in the University Library to be made available to borrowers under rules of the Library.

Brief quotations from this dissertation are allowable without special permission, provided that accurate acknowledgement of source is made. Requests for permission for extended quotation from or reproduction of this manuscript in whole or in part may be granted by the copyright holder.

Copyright ( Courtney Taylor 2009

SIGNED: ______________________ ABSTRACT

Table of Contents
Chapter One: Introduction1
Background1
Aims of the Project3
Rationale4
Literature Reviewed6
Terminology6
Chapter Summary7
Chapter 2: Literature Review8
Theoretical Foundation5
Teaching and Learning Vocabulary9
Content Vocabulary13
Mathematical Vocabulary14
Instructional Methods and Strategies18
Strategies24
Chapter Summary31
Chapter 3: Effective Strategies for Teaching Content Vocabulary in Mathematics33 Overview of Curriculum Project33
Goals and Objectives33
Format of Handbook34
Intended Audience34
Dissemination34
Chapter Summary35
Chapter 4: Links to IRA, NCTM and NYS Standards36
International Reading Standards44
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards34
New York State Mathematics Standards34
Chapter Summary35
Chapter 5: Discussion45
Chapter Summary45
References46
Appendix A50
Chapter 1
Introduction

As students enter the intermediate and middle grades, they are required to make a switch from primarily fictional storybooks to informational and content related texts. Often students are not given much guidance on how to read such texts. Of the content areas, mathematics is often acknowledged as some of the most difficult content area reading material. Schell (1982) claims mathematical reading has “more concepts per word, per sentence, and per paragraph, than any other area” (p. 544). Because of the difficulty of mathematical content, instruction in the language specific to mathematics is necessary for success in understanding concepts specific to mathematics.

Background
In my own personal experience as a middle school and high school student, I continually felt anxious when it came to math class....
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