We recently conducted a
training for administrators and taught them a 5th grade math
lesson on graphing Linear Functions. The textbook
referred to "function
tables." Several participants commented that they have
never heard them called that; they have always heard them
referred to as "T-tables" or "T-charts."
This was a good reminder
that math vocabulary is vital to the success of our
students. The rational for the 5th grade book to call
them function tables is to emphasize the functional
relationship and get students ready to hear about function
As math teachers we refer
to these types of charts by many names: t-tables, t-charts,
function tables, input-output tables, etc. There are a
plethora of math topics that can be expressed using multiple
vocabulary; roots come to mind.
Reflective questions: Do I
call attention to these discrepancies and help my students
clear the confusion? What upcoming topics do I need to
make sure I present clearly to avoid the confusion?