A conversation on Twitter this morning reminded me that I haven’t yet written about literacy in maths. I am a firm believer in not doing something for the sake of doing it (ticking the box), although I will concede that sometimes it’s necessary. I therefore do the following because I find them helpful and because I WANT TO!
1. Word of the Day. I choose an arbitrary word (usually dependent on my mood that morning) and write it, along with a definition on the board. For extra tricky words, I often add an example of usage. Students then try to use the word appropriately in a sentence at some point in the lesson, and win a sticker or behaviour point. It is very popular, to the point where Yr 10 in particular will tell me off if I’ve forgotten to change the word!
2. How-to-guides. At the end of a topic, I often get students (usually for homework) to write their own how-to guide for that topic. It should contain top tips, examples, and explanations. This serves both as a chance for actual writing in maths, but also gives a meaningful homework task that can then be used for revision.
3. Revision guides. When I started the revision phase with Yr 12 before their Core 1 exam, I set them a task. They were each assigned a chapter, and had to write up revision notes for that chapter, in a way that would help everyone. I then collated and copied their finished notes, and everyone got a revision guide for the whole book. The first attempt was a little hit-and-miss, so I added my own notes as well. This is how my ‘Core 1 for Numpties’ guide was born (but more on that in another post, another day…) It was also quite effective with Yr 10 before their Unit 2 exam.
(This is by no means a definitive guide to literacy in maths – there are some fantastic resources out there from other people. This is simply what I’ve found works for me.)
Some previous ‘words of the day’: