Languaging emergent mathematics

Posted: November 28, 2013 in The root of the matter
Tags: ,

 

When a young English speaking student learns mathematics, they must know how to count. Okay, so 1-10, that is pretty simple. But where does eleven fit in? Fifteen? How about thirty? In the Hindu-Arabic numeration system, there is no logical language sequencing for applying names to numbers. This can make counting extremely difficult for children, and understanding place value an even harder task

However, some countries have logical language sequencing! For example, Cantonese speakers know that 1-10 is:

1-yat

2-yee

3-sum

4-say

5-mm

6-lok

7-tut

8-but

9-sow

10-sup

and

20-yee sup

49-say sup gow

52-mm sup yee

98=gow sup but

SIMPLE! LOGICAL! PATTERNED!

and easily translatable for place value (yee sup -20-two tens)

After examining our number system, I know that I will be spending in depth time going over students’ comprehension of numbers and the language of our numbers, and not make the assumption that students should be able to quickly understand the language of numbers.

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