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Teaching Mathematics Vocabulary in Context

Windows, Doors, and Secret Passageways

By Miki Murray
Foreword by Mari Muri

Mathematics vocabulary has the power to enhance the conceptual understanding of mathematics for all students. This book offers strategies that highlight the essential role language plays in this process. Grounded in research and classroom experience, its proven strategies are ready to use in your classroom.

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    Teaching Mathematics Vocabulary in Context is a book about one teacher's quest to connect students to mathematics in a dynamic but personal way. Giving students ownership of a language in which to express powerful ideas increases their confidence in themselves as doers of mathematics. Murray's book is chock full of teacher wisdom and examples of students' work and ideas. Any teacher at any experience level will find this book a real gem of both inspiration and practical classroom suggestions.
    —Glenda Lappan, University Distinguished Professor, Department of Mathematics, Michigan State University
    Miki Murray is one of my family's heroes: she is the gifted teacher who opened up the world—and words—of mathematics to my adolescent daughter. Her methods are both inspired and rigorously grounded. This book captures Miki's methodology and more—it illustrates how the power of language helped her fortunate middle school students become mathematical thinkers, then mathematicians.
    —Nancie Atwell, Author of In the Middle and Lessons That Change Writers, Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, Edgecomb, Maine

As Miki Murray proves, mathematics vocabulary has the power to enhance the conceptual learning of mathematics for middle school students. It's an essential tool to help them to express their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers and teachers, to share problem-solving techniques, to gain confidence, and to participate in classroom discourse. Murray offers a range of strategies that highlight the important role language plays in the learning of math. Grounded in research and developed from more than 40 years of teaching, reflecting, and learning, Murray's proven strategies are immediately usable or adaptable by teachers.

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