Term

Spring 5-7-2016

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAT

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Susan L. Manikowski

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

David H. Lamwers

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Kara J. Odegaard

Abstract

The research question addressed in this project was, what are the current best practices for mathematics vocabulary instruction for K-5 elementary students? The motivation for this capstone was the struggle with K-5 students to understand the complex language of mathematics vocabulary. This capstone details the challenges students face in learning mathematics vocabulary, twelve best practices for mathematics vocabulary instruction for K-5 elementary students, and the level of awareness teachers have of these twelve best practices and the level of use of these strategies within their classrooms. Key influence for this capstone was the accreditation process for mathematics at the writer’s school, which sought to procure professional development around the area of best practices for mathematics vocabulary instruction. The author developed a professional development session on the twelve best practices for mathematics vocabulary instruction and presented it to K-5 elementary teachers. Teachers were surveyed on which strategies they had used in the past, which strategies they planned to use in their classroom that school year, and, at the end of the school year, surveyed again to see which strategies were actually implemented in their classroom. From the findings of the research it was established that most teachers were previously aware of some, if not all, of the current best practices for mathematics vocabulary instruction for K-5 elementary students, but much fewer were using them in their classroom. Also, as teachers were presented with these current best practices and talked about ways to use them in their classroom and set goals for themselves to implement them, the number of teachers using these strategies increased drastically.

Research Methodology

Action Research, Survey

Included in

Education Commons

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