"Mathematics is not about numbers, equations, computations, or algorithms: it is about UNDERSTANDING," said William Paul Thurston.
What if we considered literacy in the same way we considered mathematics in that there are four fundamental, interrelated components that we recognize as essential for a person to be successful in understanding this process.
Mathematics utilizes addition and subtraction, multiplication and division.
Literacy utilizes speaking and listening, reading and writing.
We have to provide opportunities for students to engage in mastering their mathematical literacy with greater urgency than we have them practice their arithmetic.
Dave Derby, the man responsible for showing the power of cognitive coaching always says, "Understanding comes at the point of articulation..." If we wish our students to understand mathematics, to improve in their abilities we have to give them opportunities improve their mathematical literacy.
As William Thurston said, if we want students to experience math, to understand, then we need to provide students opportunities to speak, listen, read and write about their mathematics.
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