Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Vowels in Math?

Yup!  Students need to know what vowels AND consonants are in MATH CLASS!!!!

Of course, they should know them regardless, but lets face it, some students don't.

So I'm going to share a short story about how I help my students remember their vowels and consonants.  But before I do, I'd like to tell you why they need to know this for math. 

 What are the odds, right?!  

Here's an example.
Henry has a set of cards. On each card is a letter from the word "MATHEMATICS". If Henry shuffled the cards and chose one without looking, what is the probability that it would be a vowel?

TA DA!!!  

There you have it! Sometimes the question asks "NOT a vowel". Now, that would be a consonant wouldn't it? 

Then we have the lovely "sometimes Y". But in math, we have enough pressure with the other letters of the alphabet known as variables.  So, we don't view the Y as a vowel.  In math class, Y is a consonant.  Please don't ask me "Y".  See what I did there?  ;)

Any who!  Onward to my story!  So after introducing the unit on probability and after going over a few practice problems, I show my students a problem similar to the one shown above. I then ask the class, "What is a vowel?" I give wait time and look across the classroom and see some facial expressions that tell me they definitely know what a vowel is and some facial expressions that, well, are really quite cute as can be because they are thinking about it.  Then I ask for a volunteer to explain. Many students do know, but there are a few that don't remember or just don't know. These are the students I created the story for.

So, here is the story.

I ask students, "Has anyone ever been to the store and then you end up seeing someone you haven't seen in a very long time?" Many hands go up in the air. Then I ask, "Does anyone here owe anyone any money?" Not so many hands go up.  Hmmm. I wonder why. Sometimes a student will blurt, "My mom does!" or something similar.  We laugh and I move along.  So then I tell them, "Let's say you answered yes to both of those questions. I wonder what you would say."  Then I let them have it, "Aaaaay!!!!  Eeeeeee!!!!  I OWE YOU!!!"  (A, E, I, O, U)

The students that know what a vowel is get it right away and start to laugh! Yes, there are a few that give an eye roll. But the students that didn't know or weren't sure learned it right away. I then explain that the other letters are consonants, NOT vowels.

There you have it. A quick and easy way to help your students identify vowels and consonants.

After this lesson, I then have students up and down the hall during changing of classes passing by my class yelling "Aaaaay!!!!  Eeeeeee!!!!  I OWE YOU!!!" and pointing in my direction.  I love it!!!  I sometimes respond with, "Yes you do!" and give them a wink.

I hope this is a story you will tell your students and I hope it helps in some way.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!!!

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