Teaching Mathematics to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners: A Handbook for PreK - 10th Grade Teachers

Every student should have equitable and optimal opportunities to learn mathematics free from bias-intentional or unintentional-based on race, gender, socioeconomic status or language. In order to close the achievement gap, all students need the opportunity to learn challenging mathematics from a well-qualified teacher who will make connections to the background, needs and cultures of all learners. (NCTM 2005) This book provides a foundation for understanding the challenges that face culturally linguistic and diverse learners (CLD) in general, and those strategies and materials that will help teachers teach them mathematics. Each chapter of the text discusses some aspect of teaching CLD learners. Chapter 1 concentrates on the general characteristics of a student who might be considered culturally and linguistically diverse. Chapter 2 focuses on the teacher and teaching techniques that can benefit CLD learners. Chapter 3considers various strategies and techniques for assessment, grouping practices, and general classroom management. Chapter 4 covers the symbols, algorithms, and vocabulary of mathematics as it applies to and affects CLD learners. Chapter 5 provides a brief consideration of the various aspects of multiculturalism as they may be used to enhance mathematics instruction of CLD learners. Each chapter also includes some discussion of the various facets of the chapter topics, with each discussion followed by a unique feature, Points to Ponder. Points to Ponder are brief capsules of the preceding discussion, suggestions for working with CLD learners, or descriptions about their tendencies, learning styles, or habits. Another feature of the book are Cultural Conundrums. These are inspired by the experiences of real teachers in the classroom. As the student reads each chapter they can try to determine a plausible solution for the situation presented. The explanations are then included at the end of the chapter along with the steps a teacher might take to help that particular student. The goal for teachers should be to help CLD learners learn mathematics and understand mathematics to be more than numbers and nomenclature. This book contains the information they need to understand the cultural and ethnic influences acting on CLD learners and to provide classroom-tested strategies for helping them advance their mathematics knowledge.