National Numeracy Project: Mathematical Vocabulary. Beam Publications. Pounds 9 per pack of five books (+ Pounds 2 pp) (0171-457 5535).
This booklet is practical, simple and very useful. It deals succinctly with the relationship between language and mathematical competence.
The introduction demonstrates how language use is linked to pupils' ability to carry out maths-related tasks. For instance, children often fail to understand spoken or written instructions as some words may be unfamiliar to them. Some mathematical terms, such as "odd" and "table", have more mundane meanings in everyday English.
Mathematical Vocabulary provides a clear digest of the core language pupils need, with four-page word lists for each year group.
A separate section of instructions for each year group collates the common vocabulary and phrasing used by teachers. The aim is to make language and terminology a more conscious and explicit element of their work.
This booklet deserves to be used well beyond the primary phase.
This month's reviewer.
Jon O'Connor is the headteacher of Parkside First School, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire