Topic (follow-up to Thursday, 30th September 2010):
What terminology should we use and when - 'proper' mathematical terms or everyday language?
As it happened on Monday, 4th October 2010, 19:30 - 21:00 GMT
7:33 pm
ColinTGraham:
Hello and welcome to Monday's #mathchat
7:34 pm
ColinTGraham:
If it's your first time, welcome. Try to interact with one or two people if things move too fast for you and don't forget the --> #mathchat
7:34 pm
ColinTGraham:
Tonight's topic is: "What terminology should we use and when - 'proper' mathematical terms or everyday language?" #mathchat
7:35 pm
Tina_Barr:
@ColinTGraham what time is #mathchat?
7:36 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham I think it's good to try to use both (e.g. box and cuboid) so that the language is used and understood #mathchat
7:36 pm
cybraryman1:
Are you ready for 10-10-10 ? #mathchat
7:36 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Tina_Barr It's starting now! #mathchat
7:36 pm
ColinTGraham:
Does the introduction of terminology come before, with or after the concept? #mathchat
7:37 pm
ColinTGraham:
@cybraryman1 Yes, and 20/10/2010 ! #mathchat
7:38 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs You would have box, cuboid and cube... how do you differentiate - do you define or the students? #mathchat
7:40 pm
frogphilp:
On 09-16-10 I asked the children which number was the odd-one out. They said 9. I didn't mean that kind of odd-so what did I mean? #mathchat
7:40 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham did gr8 expt today videod me & 2 students (me questioning/confirming/reaffirming) they defining - others recording #mathchat
7:41 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham so they define I guess but with me addressing any misconceptions #mathchat
7:41 pm
icecolbeveridge:
I see maths as a foreign language. "It's a box... in maths it's known as a cuboid." #mathchat
7:42 pm
Tina_Barr:
Exploring #mathchat for the next little bit!
7:42 pm
ColinTGraham:
@frogphilp It could be 09 because it was written with a leading zero though... #mathchat
7:43 pm
Janshs:
@icecolbeveridge I once worked in a school where Maths & MFL were in same faculty #mathchat
7:43 pm
ColinTGraham:
@icecolbeveridge Yes, I have used this approach too, in ESL teaching: ball, globe, sphere #mathchat
7:44 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs Will you go back and review the video with the Ss later to refine? #mathchat
7:45 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham yes, and we hope to make it a revision tool too #mathchat
7:45 pm
ColinTGraham:
@icecolbeveridge @janshs my main research interest is in the impact of language used vs. maths learned, so it's right up my alley! #mathchat
7:46 pm
Tina_Barr:
RT @mathheadinc: @mrsjpearson @colleenk has many fun games here: www.mathplayground.com #mathchat #edchat #education #elemchat
7:46 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham have you come across the dea of dialogic teaching (Alexander)? #mathchat
7:46 pm
ColinTGraham:
Back to my earlier question: Does the introduction of terminology come before, with or after the concept? #mathchat
7:48 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs Yes I've sometimes heard it referred to as Socratic teaching too. Tricky to do with more than a group of 3 or 4, I think #mathchat
7:48 pm
Tina_Barr:
@ColinTGraham I think before....having an understanding of terms allows for a deeper understanding of the concept #mathchat
7:49 pm
Tina_Barr:
RT @kellydupas: Great site with lots of Pumpkin related math activities! http://bit.ly/bBlvz9 #edchat#elemchat #mathchat
7:49 pm
ColinTGraham:
Adjustably or always...? eg sometimes b4, sometimes b4+with... RT @EduVulture: @ColinTGrahampossibly all three? #mathchat
7:50 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Tina_Barr Does the understanding come from having a word to describe it though or from finding something and trying to label it? #mathchat
7:50 pm
ColinTGraham:
RT @EduVulture: I tend to seek solutions to the questions first, so I introduce the tech at the right time #mathchat
7:50 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham agreed - I am going to try some group work with this idea #mathchat
7:51 pm
ColinTGraham:
Don't forget to use the hashtag! #mathchat
7:52 pm
frogphilp:
technical words are specific to maths (eg triangle); specialist words are general words used in a maths context (eg table) #mathchat
7:53 pm
ColinTGraham:
@icecolbeveridge Do you consciously use any language teaching methodology when you are teaching maths? #mathchat
7:54 pm
Tina_Barr:
@ColinTGraham I suppose it could be a case by case basis. Depends on age level too. Younger may do better w/ the latter. #mathchat
7:54 pm
ColinTGraham:
@frogphilp We also need to remember jargon as well and that technical words may be used differently: eg. trapezoid/trapezium #mathchat
7:55 pm
frogphilp:
Role of primary school teacher is to inculcate a positive attitude to language of maths and skills for engaging in maths dialogue. #mathchat
7:56 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Tina_Barr My general impression is that younger children always seem interested in knowing the 'big' words. #mathchat
7:56 pm
frogphilp:
@ColinTGraham yes there's a grey area. #mathchat
7:56 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@ColinTGraham I encourage students to keep a vocab notebook and think about breaking words down #mathchat
7:57 pm
Tina_Barr:
@ColinTGraham interesting. I have found (my exp is limited to tutoring) that they are unable to conceptualize the bigger words. #mathchat
7:57 pm
Tina_Barr:
RT @icecolbeveridge: @ColinTGraham I encourage students to keep a vocab notebook and think about breaking words down #mathchat
7:57 pm
ColinTGraham:
@frogphilp And that is the 'scary' thing when many teachers may not be confident about their own understanding of maths terms #mathchat
7:57 pm
kristyswanson:
No wonder I don't get it! RT @icecolbeveridge: I see maths as a foreign language. "It's a box... in maths it's known as a cuboid." #mathchat
7:58 pm
Janshs:
@icecolbeveridge @ColinTGraham vocab - a bit like the earning journal that I ask all students to keep #mathchat
7:59 pm
ColinTGraham:
@icecolbeveridge Certainly I have found keeping a record of Eng/Latin/Greek can help to strengthen connections between concepts #mathchat
7:59 pm
Janshs:
@icecolbeveridge @ColinTGraham but if I have thm in Y7 and get them 'back' in Y11 they remember it but haven't done it in between #mathchat
7:59 pm
frogphilp:
Showed video of more able child counting in binary to rest of class. I couldn't explain it to them as I didn't have the words. #mathchat
7:59 pm
cybraryman1:
@icecolbeveridge Great idea. Links to making your own and math glossaries http://bit.ly/1PAeOz#mathchat
8:00 pm
frogphilp:
@kristyswanson I see maths as more like learning music than learning a foreign language. It's more predictable than languages. #mathchat
8:00 pm
ColinTGraham:
Do any of you make a class dictionary? I used to do this with beginning ESL learners using pictures and 'definitions' #mathchat
8:01 pm
Tina_Barr:
RT @cybraryman1: @icecolbeveridge Great idea. Links to making your own and math glossarieshttp://bit.ly/1PAeOz #mathchat
8:02 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham we make collaborative documents on our VLE for class use #mathchat
8:02 pm
ColinTGraham:
@frogphilp How did you introduce the binary counting to him/them in the first place? #mathchat
8:03 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs For a short time I was able to get higher level classes to produce explanations and descriptions for lower level ones. #mathchat
8:04 pm
frogphilp:
@ColinTGraham started with place value. Asked what if we couldn't put 9 as maximum digit in each place holder. #mathchat
8:04 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs short time here = 18 months, 3 6-month terms. Both higher & lower enjoyed the experience but higher got more out of it. #mathchat
8:05 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham interesting, is it about 'explaining in own word' - conceptualising? #mathchat
8:05 pm
Sundayteatime:
#mathchat I do seem to blather on about latin, greek and hungarian a bit. Don't know if it helps the students.
8:05 pm
ColinTGraham:
@frogphilp So your class can handle/understand the placeholder concept... #mathchat
8:06 pm
republicofmath:
Gets worse: http://wp.me/pJESd-Ak @icecolbeveridge: math as foreign language: It's a box... in maths it's known as a cuboid. #mathchat
8:07 pm
ColinTGraham:
Gary's blog post on the prep page for this topic is an interesting read: http://bit.ly/a7h7Ae (for later!) #mathchat
8:07 pm
ColinTGraham:
Ah, he beat me to it! @republicofmath #mathchat
8:08 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs These were English language learners rather than maths students, but the same principle should work #mathchat
8:10 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs The two things the higher level students said almost consistently were (1) I could understand and know how to use the word #mathchat
8:10 pm
frogphilp:
@ColinTGraham Ah there's a question. I think there are misunderstandings for some of them. Need more calculator practice #mathchat
8:10 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs (2) I got better at explaining things in English because I knew I could do it for the dictionary - so confidence boost! #mathchat
8:10 pm
republicofmath:
What is "proper" #math language? Should school language be disjoint from professional language? (whatever that is) #mathchat
8:11 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham and this is a crossover to other curriculum areas perhaps? #mathchat - ie use words in context
8:12 pm
maths_teacher:
@ColinTGraham my classes have a glossary of terms they put in the back of their books #mathchat
8:12 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs So who decides when a word is technical and therefore a maths word, or specific (used differently in maths)? #mathchat
8:13 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maths_teacher Is the glossary given to them or do they build it for themselves as the year goes on? #mathchat
8:14 pm
maths_teacher:
@ColinTGraham they build it up as the year goes on. Their own definitions (with guidance when needed) #mathchat
8:14 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham I like to give students that choice really - and also point out that we are 'being Mathematicians' in class???? #mathchat
8:15 pm
ColinTGraham:
@republicofmath That was part of the reason I put 'proper' in "scare quotes". For me the concept is more important than the label. #mathchat
8:16 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maths_teacher Does each student write their own or do you have a class definition or a mixture? #mathchat
8:16 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs What problems or confusions can arise when using newly introduced terminology, or terms from other subjects differently? #mathchat
8:17 pm
maths_teacher:
I am insistent that when talking in the classroom they use mathematical words. We also have a vocab wall in corridor of yr 6 words #mathchat
8:17 pm
maths_teacher:
@ColinTGraham we use a mixture #mathchat
8:18 pm
ColinTGraham:
@frogphilp Have you got binary calculators then, Steve? ;-P #mathchat
8:18 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham ah well lots I suppose .... I try to reassure verbally and get students to use in their responses #mathchat
8:18 pm
regparsons:
@ColinTGraham I do it after. Same with symbols like the integral sign. #mathchat
8:18 pm
republicofmath:
@ColinTGraham @Janshs Galois first used "group" (actually "groupe") - an everyday word, in a precise #math sense. #mathchat
8:19 pm
ColinTGraham:
@republicofmath Part of the issue is that mathematicians who discovered new concepts or ideas needed words to explain them, so... #mathchat
8:20 pm
maths_teacher:
wasn't going to join #mathchat but the subject caught me! Off to bed now! I'll check the archive tomorrow to see what you said!
8:20 pm
frogphilp:
@ColinTGraham My children can telekinetically communicate with computers, so have to speak in binary. It's just the way it is ;-) #mathchat
8:20 pm
ColinTGraham:
For example, English has "special" words for 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4 although many people refer to fourths rather than quarters #mathchat
8:20 pm
republicofmath:
Feel anyone doing #math inventing should be able to use own words for concepts. Problem comes if already known as something else. #mathchat
8:20 pm
unexpectedtales:
"Set" is one of the words with the most meanings in the English language #mathchat
8:21 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maths_teacher Great, thanks for joining us! #mathchat
8:22 pm
ColinTGraham:
Let's try an experiment. I am going to tweet a word and I want you to reply with the first image/definition you think of #mathchat
8:22 pm
republicofmath:
Kids can and do lots of #math inventing/discovering. How to name things is an issue #mathchat
8:22 pm
ColinTGraham:
RAM #mathchat
8:23 pm
ColinTGraham:
@republicofmath Naming and classifying are very closely related, so a lot depends on methods of classifying or grouping too. #mathchat
8:23 pm
republicofmath:
Computer memory @ColinTGraham RAM #mathchat
8:24 pm
regparsons:
@republicofmath Yes; they need to use the same language as the greater mathematics community. #mathchat
8:24 pm
ColinTGraham:
RT @xmath2007: @ColinTGraham memory (because all in caps) #mathchat
8:25 pm
ColinTGraham:
RT @regparsons: @ColinTGraham Rectangular approximation method. #mathchat
8:25 pm
cybraryman1:
Random Access Memory The animal "ram" #mathchat
8:25 pm
republicofmath:
Sure thing - just like gerbes! http://wp.me/pJESd-Ak @ColinTGraham Naming and classifying #mathchat
8:26 pm
Sundayteatime:
Sheep #mathchat
8:26 pm
regparsons:
@ColinTGraham I'm beginning the chapter on definite integrals! #mathchat
8:26 pm
ColinTGraham:
Now if this had been a social studies or history chat then someone would probably have mentioned battering rams... #mathchat
8:26 pm
elenelsecchio:
A male sheep! :) @ColinTGraham RAM #mathchat
8:27 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@ColinTGraham Disks. But then I realised I was thinking of RAID. And that's a whole nother connotation. #mathchat
8:28 pm
ColinTGraham:
I wonder if I had tweeted ram or Ram whether that would have changed anything... so point is awareness of context and maybe schema #mathchat
8:29 pm
republicofmath:
What if I were to Tweet: "square root" ? What's the FIRST thing you think of? #mathchat
8:30 pm
ColinTGraham:
What types of activity do any of you do in relation to naming and classifying things you'll need to use regularly? #mathchat
8:30 pm
Janshs:
@republicofmath pythagoras (sorry) #mathchat
8:30 pm
arthurpdent42:
@republicofmath Square root of course #mathchat
8:30 pm
ColinTGraham:
@republicofmath A cubic turnip... because I'm thinking in exception mode now! #mathchat
8:31 pm
Sundayteatime:
@republicofmath 2 #mathchat
8:31 pm
republicofmath:
Why sorry? Great answer! @Janshspythagoras (sorry) #mathchat
8:33 pm
frogphilp:
Just posted about definitions of maths http://bit.ly/9QbJLG #mathchat
8:33 pm
Janshs:
it is roughly 75 hours to my birthday ---- not a 'special' one --- myabe that's why I feel a bit glum, despitre lovely #mathchat
8:33 pm
republicofmath:
Why of course? I think sqrt(2) irrational. (Or was it a joke?) @arthurpdent42 Square root of course #mathchat
8:33 pm
cybraryman1:
For 10-10-10 I Suggest watching Powers of Ten video (Math & Science): http://bit.ly/j1NEC #mathchat#scichat #math #science
8:34 pm
Janshs:
@republicofmath i wish I knew the square root of 2 (count letters, you know his one of ourse) #mathchat
8:34 pm
mathchat:
What types of activity do any of you do in relation to naming and classifying things you'll need to use regularly? #mathchat
8:35 pm
chibaf:
RT @republicofmath: Gets worse: http://wp.me/pJESd-Ak @icecolbeveridge: math as foreign language: It's a box... #mathchat
8:36 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@Janshs Oh, come on, 22 isn't old! #mathchat (Many happy returns.)
8:36 pm
arthurpdent42:
@republicofmath I guess I'm not as mathsy as you #mathchat it wasn't a joke...
8:36 pm
Janshs:
@icecolbeveridge teehee I'm sure I am 22 in some base or other ;-) #mathchat
8:37 pm
mathattck:
@republicofmath "Square Root" confusion, since root symbol means positive root only. Good example of homonym. #mathchat
8:37 pm
ColinTGraham:
@arthurpdent42 So did you get a picture of the square root symbol? #mathchat
8:37 pm
Janshs:
@republicofmath just seemed a bit obvious #mathchat
8:40 pm
ColinTGraham:
I think the point has been made that we probably all know the square root sign or what a square root is in maths, context now diff #mathchat
8:41 pm
ColinTGraham:
Let's move in a slightly different direction: How consistent are you in your own use of terminology? #mathchat
8:41 pm
mathattck:
Technical math language is overdone in Ontario schools, imo, should make distinction between informal and formal. #mathchat
8:41 pm
Caro_lann:
@republicofmath A spell ingredient in the old board game "Elixir" popped into my mind. #mathchat
8:43 pm
mmoriconi:
irrational, reductio ad absurdum, greeks, cows... #mathchat
8:43 pm
frogphilp:
@ColinTGraham That's easy. Somedays I'm really consistent. Other days I'm not. #mathchat
8:45 pm
ColinTGraham:
Does inconsistency matter/have an impact? RT @frogphilp: That's easy. Somedays I'm really consistent. Other days I'm not. #mathchat
8:45 pm
mathattck:
@ColinTGraham Language consistency is really important, so appeal to formal language when in doubt of meaning! #mathchat
8:45 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@frogphilp As Bryan Robson once said: If we played like this every week, we wouldn't be so inconsistent #mathchat
8:47 pm
ColinTGraham:
@mathattck But if you doubt the meaning, that is the last time you should use formal (or maybe technical) language... isn't it? #mathchat
8:47 pm
frogphilp:
@ColinTGraham I'm inconsistent because I'm exploring ideas as we go along. I expect children to have same attitude #mathchat
8:49 pm
ColinTGraham:
@frogphilp And since you are working with 8yo then expansion of vocabulary and finding alternate ways to explain are important too #mathchat
8:51 pm
frogphilp:
@ColinTGraham Yes. 8-11 though. I have more able children (we set 7-11, but that's an entirely different issue!) #mathchat
8:57 pm
mathattck:
@ColinTGraham Need technical language to be precise, remove ambiguity, appeal to definitions. #mathchat
8:59 pm
mathattck:
@ColinTGraham Need technical language to be precise, remove ambiguity, appeal to definitions. #mathchat
9:02 pm
ColinTGraham:
Archive will be online in about 30 minutes or so... see you next time! #mathchat
9:02 pm
icecolbeveridge:
#mathchat Technical definitions are important to allow clear communication of common properties. Important to know, but...
9:02 pm
icecolbeveridge:
#mathchat ... I did once include the term "a wee shoogle" on a conference paper.
9:03 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham thanks to all esp you for #mathchat