- ASL sign (if applicable)
- English word (in print)
- Fingerspelling of English word
In Calc this week, I had my student doing practice AP Free Response questions. One day, after completing a no-calculator free response question requiring justification of responses, I read the justification and was reminded of vocabulary difficulties. The mathematical justification was great, but instead of saying the normal line is perpendicular to the tangent, therefore the slopes are opposite reciprocals, justification was that the slopes are "negatived and flipped." In ASL, it would be an appropriate explanation, because the sign for flip and the sign for reciprocal are the same. This is the class that I have been most conscious about vocabulary! We have had English lessons in the middle of calc class in order to recognize the different forms of words that have the same sign. i.e. differentiate (v.), derivative (n.), differentiable (adj.), derive (v.), etc. The majority of the calc vocabulary (inflection point, slope, tangent and many others) does not have ASL signs, so we do a lot of fingerspelling with the support of written English on the board. I am concerned that this might not be enough.
Any thoughts on how to make vocabulary a more essential part of the curriculum or to get students actively using appropriate terms in writing?