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While experts in the field of reading increasingly agree on the importance of direct instruction in vocabulary building, professionals in the field of elementary school mathematics tend to emphasize the use of concrete, manipulative materials and informal math language development over direct, specific instruction in technical terms or verbalizations of concepts. Today's elementary classroom teachers find contradictory recommendations when they seek to make decisions about teaching the meanings of technical words in their mathematics classes. This article presents a discussion of the contradictions and some suggestions for practical resolution of disagreements, which will enable school reading specialists to provide both background and practical help to classroom teachers.

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