Lifelong Learning Programme

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Title of the Experience
Mathematics and language
Name of the teacher
Anna Luise
Country where it took place
School typology
Vocational School
Thematic Area
Experience typology
Teaching in class
Type of contact
Description of the Experience
Over the years I have noticed that the difficulties that kids find in performing of a trivial exercise or a simple problem is due to the lack of confidence they have with the meaning of the words they read in a command or in a text.
Comparing my experience with that of other colleagues and evaluating common difficulties I wanted to try an interdisciplinary project that stimulate students to read carefully the requests.
With the Italian teacher, after completing an entry test on the skills (for both subjects) that the boys would have already have at the end of their previous path of education, after comparing the poor results obtained, we began to play a work on vocabulary (usually very poor) and on the semantics of words as well as on the difference in the meaning of a word depending on the context in which it is used.
At the same time we talked about figures and numbers, ordinal and cardinal numbers and how these words, with so different shades, are used in a spontaneous way in everyday language: the example that best describes what has been said is that in a mathematical context the kids confuse the double with the square and have serious difficulties when asked to split an amount, but if the same demands are put into a practical context of everyday life (such as money management) the described difficulties disappear.
Starting from this observation, next to the real study of the vocabulary of operations was given a lot of importance to the suffixes of words and, even more, to the polysemous words that are the key to understand so many problems.
To better catch students' attention, we tried to contextualize as much as possible the topics drawing on articles and advertisements in newspapers and magazines, stimulating pupils in the interpretation of the text, the evaluation of different offers and dangers hidden behind what may seem a real bargain.
The work, experienced in a class of the first year took many hours over the entire school year but when, at the end of the path done, we repeated the test that we had completed earlier in the year, the results were surprisingly positive.

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Dissemination Seminar in Florence

31 October 2015 The seminar has been held in ITIS “A. Meucci” one of the schools involved within Goerudio project activities. Its main aim was to promote the results of the project toward a broad sample of stakeholders even overcrossing the number of people directly involved in the production of project outcomes. This purpose has been totally achieved especially thanks to the participation of students and teachers coming from different schools or from other classes instead of those ones directly involved within the project activities.