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Growing confident through language

Rosy Wilkinson
Christies Beach Primary School
Noarlunga Cluster

Millie, a year 5 student, used to appear shy and was reluctant to ask questions when she didn’t understand a task or concept. She is now very confident in asking for help or in answering questions and is always eager to share her thinking and successes in mathematics.

This is a transcript showing Millie’s understanding and use of technical language at the end of a task that introduced adding fractions with common denominators.

Teacher: Tell me about the 5 halves.

Millie: 5 halves is an improper fraction.

Teacher: How do you know that 5 halves is an improper fraction?

Millie: Well, it’s not a usual fraction.

Teacher: How do we know it’s improper?

Millie: Because…the numerator is higher than the denominator.

Teacher: What have you changed your improper fraction into?

Millie: I turned it into a mixed number.

Teacher: What’s your mixed number?

Millie: 2 wholes and 1 half.

Teacher: That’s right 2 and a half.


This inspiring story connects to:


Finding 3.3 Language
Explicitly teach learners mathematical language and symbols so they can articulate and represent what, how and why they are learning and understanding.



Finding 5.3: Metacognition
Help students recognise what they know well, what they need help with and what they still need to learn.



Finding 5.4: Feedback
Provide feedback that is timely and promotes success in future learning.



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Growing confident through language

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