Beacon Lesson Plan Library

What Language Do You Speak?

Johnny Wolfe
Santa Rosa District Schools

Description

In mathematics, numbers and math symbols have meanings. This lesson is based on a game and is to be used in groups (approximately 4 or 5). A card will be drawn from a deck. On this card is a verbal description of a mathematical statement.

Objectives

Associates verbal names, written word names, and standard numerals with integers, rational numbers, irrational numbers, real numbers and complex numbers.

Materials

-What Language Do You Speak Worksheets for each student (See Associated File)
-What Language Do You Speak Checklist for each student (See Associated File)
-Descriptor cards (See Associated File)
-Player cards (See Associated File)
-Overhead projector and transparencies (optional)

Preparations

1. Copy the What Language Do You Speak Worksheets and Checklist for each student. (See Associated File)
2. Have Descriptor and Player cards prepared. (See Associated File) To prolong the life of the cards, copy them onto cardstock paper. Be sure to have enough Player cards for each student and enough Descriptor cards for each group.
3. Make transparencies of needed materials if using an overhead projector.

Procedures

Prior Knowledge: Students should be familiar with mathematical symbols and their meanings.

1. Get students' attention by making the statement: “We are going to learn a new language today!”

2. Verbally review mathematical terms and expressions.

3. Distribute the What Language Do You Speak Checklist to students and explain what constitutes an “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” and “F.” (See Associated File)

4. Distribute a What Language Do You Speak Worksheets to each student and allow them time to practice these skills. (See Associated File)

5. Review the answers with students and work any missed problems.

6. Explain the rules of the game:
a. This lesson is based on a game and is to be used in groups of four or five students.
b. One of the students will be designated as the “official scorer” and “referee.” Their job will be to keep score and to settle any “disputed” points.
c. A descriptor card will be drawn from a deck. On this card is a verbal description of a mathematical problem.
d. Each student has in their possession a group of player cards that contain mathematical operations, equality/inequality symbols, grouping symbols, and numerals.
e. Before play begins, the first player is determined (by the students) and the motion goes in a clockwise manner.
f. When the descriptor card is drawn, it is placed face up on the playing area.
g. The first player must place a card, from his/her collection, on the playing area. This card must represent a mathematical representation of the verbal description (descriptor card).
h. If the player is successful, then he/she receives one point. If unsuccessful, then the turn passes to the next player.
i. The round is finished when the verbal expression is completely represented on the playing area.
j. Round two continues when a second descriptor card is drawn.
k. The first person to reach 15 points (arbitrary number – change to fit your needs) is the winner.
l. Collect cards and store for another day!

Assessments

Observe group participation to make sure that students are playing the game according to the rules and correctly placing player cards to match each descriptor card. Score the student worksheets and assign points for the number of correct algebraic equations. (See Checklist in Associated File) Students who have difficulty completing the worksheet or placing descriptor cards should receive further instruction.

Extensions

1. You can play the game as a class until students get the hang of it.
2. You can vary grade level of mathematical terms (difficulty level) and description of items from class to class.

Web Links

Web supplement for What Language Do You Speak?
Play Math Journey!

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