Deaf students and the language of mathematics: a teacher training proposal

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Title: Deaf students and the language of mathematics: a teacher training proposal
Author: Krieger, Mary
Abstract: High-level mathematical reasoning is important in order to be able to compete in today's world. The focus of this project is on the mathematics aspect of deaf student's education and how the lessons learned there will help them compete. Specifically concentrating on the language of a textbook used in middle school mathematics. Mathematics instruction is turning toward more real world problems that develop students' reasoning skills and problem solving abilities. With this new focus, word problems and critical thinking have become a more critical aspect of mathematics instruction. Students need to be able to read and comprehend the problems as well as know the mathematics skills involved in solving them. In order to make this type of instruction more accessible to deaf students, their teachers need to understand the language problems that come with this new focus. The proposed project will create materials and workshops for mathematics materials in general and particularly in the Connected Mathematics Program (CMP). Mathematics teachers in both mainstream education and in residential schools will be the primary participants of the workshops. A workshop will be created along with supplemental materials to assist teachers in understanding the language problems the deaf student faces. These will help the teacher to understand the potential problems. The workshop will cover three major areas: structure, vocabulary and content. The workshop will have three sections and each section will focus on a different problem area. A section will include a description of the problem area, examples, tips for helping students and an application session. During the application session teachers will be expected to find the possible problems in a given text and brainstorm what they could do to help students. The three workshops will occur over a period of one year. All three workshops will be the same and will cover the three problem areas. The evaluation of each workshop will include surveys and interviews with all the participants. Data from this evaluation may be used to modify the workshops pending additional future funding.
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Date: 2005-09-08

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