Helen M. Spruill
Using Language Development to Support Mathematical Understanding
As we strive to achieve the goals of the current standards and mathematical practices, there is an increasing expectation that students are able to fluently speak the "language of mathematics" in order to explain their reasoning and understand the reasoning of others. I am applying for this grant in order to supplement the tuition costs for a Masters degree in Leadership in Mathematics Education that would enable me to better understand the development of mathematical thinking and effective mathematics instruction. I will bring my lens of language development to this work, with the goal of supporting our school community to increase access to high quality mathematics instruction for the 75% of our students who are English Language Learners (ELLs). Since language serves as a mediator in mathematical thinking, I would like to explore and support others in understanding the needs of ELLs as they relate to effective instructional practices in mathematics.