I am excited to announce a free workshop that will help math teachers promote better conceptual understanding and retention among their students.  Currently I am looking for 20 participants to take a beta version of this online workshop.  Please read the outline below.  If you're interested in sign up, please do so here.

Teaching Mathematics - Using Language to Promote Retention

Course Outline

A participant in the workshop, “Teaching Mathematics - Using Language to Promote Retention,” will learn how to use the relationship between language and memory to promote better retention of mathematical concepts among their students.  


  1. The Language - Memory Relationship & How Math is Language
    1. A brief exploration of how verbal (and written) language conveys meaning by means of words, syntax and context, and how language is a framework of thinking.
    2. A brief and simplified overview of neuro-linguistic science that will demonstrate how language transforms short-term memory into long-term memory, and how language is later used to reconstruct long-term memory.
    3. How mathematics is a language.
    4. Putting these points together we will see that in order for students to understand and retain mathematics, they must have the language.
  2. Defining Mathematical Terms Appropriately:  What - Why, then How.
    1. The rubric for evaluating definitions
    2. Evaluation of common definitions
    3. Examples of quality definitions
    4. How the rubric can focus your instruction to promote conceptual understanding through appropriate language (What - Why)
  3. Consistently using language to keep students’ understanding rooted in What - Why.  
    1. Instruction/Discussion
    2. Practice/Assessment
    3. Feedback/Review
  4. Exploring a lesson (that could be a review or introductory lesson) that is rich with mathematical connections and concepts.  This will serve as an example of how to properly use language in a lesson.


How the workshop will run.


Part 1:  There will be a PDF document to read and a video to watch.  After the reading and watching the video a short series of questions will be asked to challenge your thinking and prepare you for what’s next.

Part 2:  There will be a short video followed by a worksheet that you will need to fill out.  After the worksheet is filled out, a rubric will be used to evaluate the worksheet. This worksheet and rubric can be used in the future for planning math lessons.


Part 3:  There will be a video (and article) discussing the ways in which the teacher needs to maintain vigilant devotion to redirecting discussion and focus on the “what” and “why.”   The areas of focus will be initial instruction, practice and assessment performed by students that challenges conceptual understanding, and feedback/review in response to practice and assessment.   Each of these areas deserve their own workshop, this is not an exhaustive treatment of any of the three areas.


Part 4:  We will participate in a video lesson (written copy provided), that incorporates many mathematical concepts and mathematical thinking to review a major algebraic concept. This type of lesson can model (not mathematically model, but by example) how a mathematical thinker can create connections.

Purpose of Notes and Homework
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