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Understand the Language of Mathematics

Era Mathematics was created to help students understand the language of mathematics and the concepts expressed in that language. By building an appropriate vocabulary before standardised testing and focusing on the meanings of mathematical words and symbols, students are better able to interpret test questions. This approach was created with professional feedback, to produce print and digital texts that use storytelling, visuals and exploration of concepts that students can apply in the real world. Comic books also allow for role-play with terms and problems. By improving mathematical literacy we give students tools and know-how to move forward with confidence.

Understanding the language of mathematics

In English, there are multiple ways of expressing a mathematical concept. For example, the concept of addition can be referred to as add, adding, addition, more, plus, make, sum of and altogether. It also includes the symbols +, = and numerals. Students experience difficulty without this understanding.

Standardised testing

National primary school assessments have revealed significant issues with students applying mathematical knowledge in standardised testing. It is not that children can’t do the arithmetic, but rather their inability to understand the narrative language of the questions.

Example: Bill has three apples and Jill gives two more. How many apples do they have altogether?

In this example, students need to understand that they are being asked to add two numbers, but they do not always make that connection. This is considered one of the issues schools are facing in student comprehension.

Professional feedback

Numerous specialist teachers gave us insights into modern teaching practices with cross-curriculum learning. This allowed us to develop contextually-based early learning materials that approach mathematics differently by:

  • Addressing mathematical literacy up to 3 years before national testing
  • Building an understanding of mathematical vocabulary
  • Providing tools to identify and solve mathematical problems