Working with Multiple Intelligences: Mathematical
Today, we are going to discuss ways to motivate students in the language learning classroom who exhibit logical or mathematical intelligences.
I’m pretty sure that some of you may shake your heads or roll your eyes and think outside of talking about numbers…or so you THINK!
For those of you working in all forms of English Language Learning (ELL), think about some of the daily functions we go through such as filling out a deposit/withdrawal slip at a bank. I’m sure some of you are screaming at the screen, WE DON’T USE THE BANK BECAUSE WE HAVE DEBIT CARDS. Ok, I’ll give you that but even if you have a debit card, you have to balance your receipts in order to keep up with what’s currently in your bank account.
Do we not all plan budgets? Think about those shipping and receiving managers at your favorite shops. They have to keep an inventory of what they have and make smart estimates of what they will need in coming weeks.
Here is a short list of projects that will not only challenge the mathematically inclined but will meet the needs of most ESL standards.
Budget plan: You can either create a fictional yet realistic situation, where students are allotted a certain amount of money to spend either for a trip or a special event like a concert. Students will need to figure cost of tickets, tax, eating plans, gas or transportation needed, and any other factors that students may feel are required. Students have to write their answers both in mathematical and written forms. If students are able to not overspend on the budget, then they have mastered part of the lesson. You are also going to be able to assess their writing skills.
Class survey: create a list of topics related to your class or classroom. Examples can include topics related to students, favorite subjects, items needed for class, use your imagination. For example, you may decide to create a survey about students’ experience with using a foreign language, like Spanish. You may have had some students to take a primary course while in a daycamp. Some students may have traveled to a Spanish speaking country. Some students may have picked up the language skill from a part time job. Then you may have some students who have no experience at all. Then, students need to take the results of the survey and create a report about what has been learned and how it can affect class learning and how it can be helped to make the content material helpful for students of all levels.
Figuring taxes: Taxes are handled differently from state to state in the US. Does this same stigma exist anywhere else in the world? Have students research certain taxes like property tax in their home state (especially if you are in Tennessee) and compare with other countries. There are other taxes students can research like sales tax, fuel tax, etc. Students will gain a better understanding of how they are personally affected by their federal tax system and learn about taxes in other countries.
Word problem: Create an equation and give students what the variables represent. Give them a base answer for which they must write out the equation and the answer as a word problem. Students may write it as a step by step process or an essay.
Take this list and see what you can come up with on your own.