Mathematics in a multicultural setting

Based on these scenarios: Mathematics in a multicultural setting

Inspiration for these learning activity packages: Learning in teams

I am a teacher in Spain, and the first language of many of my students is not Spanish. These additional-language students form teams (see activity 1), and begin their math course by starting a wiki, in which they enter explanations of math concepts they are familiar with in their native language. They link these language versions to those entries that discuss the same concepts in another language that were created by other classes and students, and add a list of new concepts that are expected to be handled during the course.

The students continue by gathering guides, videos, exercises and other resources online that relate to the topics they need to learn about (see activity 3). They find these online resources in their native language, and link them together in a single repository by using Diigo (or other social bookmarking services). I support the data gathering by preparing the students, giving them starting pointers, as well as following the Diigo group and their regular audio updates (see activity 4). They post the links to the wiki as well.

The students prepare short presentations, which include a Q&A session. They present their results to other students in Spanish and receive feedback. I am supporting the communication and sort out misunderstandings (see activity 5).

Then, the additional-language students use the iTEC collaboration environment (see activity 2) to find other math students (either native speakers or speakers of a different foreign language) and invite them to a virtual team. Together, they reflect on their understanding of the concepts by grouping their information visually (see activity 6), and try to use math as the common language in making sure they all understand everything correctly.

The additional-language students find a classroom from their native country, and ask students there to look at their math questions and give feedback (see activity 2 and 5). They create math questions to test their understanding. When possible, the questions are based on concrete situations, such as information from their own classroom, numerical facts from their home countries, etc. Finally, the results of each team are shared with others in the class. (see activity 7).

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