FABLES, LANGUAGE AND MATHEMATICS
Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts (ISRAEL)
This research discusses a unique approach to mathematics teaching, grounded in the use of examples taken from the world around us and implemented in two 4th grade classes. It presents literacy activities designed to foster a language of mathematics for all pupil populations (mainstream, gifted and pupils with special needs) and highlights the relation between the daily language and the language of mathematics. The concept is rooted in the requirement to strengthen the inter-disciplinary connections in different systems, including education systems. The activities focus on the positive effect of integrating fables as literary genre for improving the language of mathematics, reducing the fear of mathematics teaching and increasing the satisfaction with mathematics. The research population is 160 pupils in the 4th grade. school. They have engaged in numerous activities during several lessons and conducted a discourse related to each activity. The activities are based on a fable by Jean de Lafontaine, a didactic literary work, designed to instill moral values and wisdom. The findings indicate that using intriguing fables that stimulate mathematics thinking, leading to an educational lesson promotes the positive approach to the teaching of mathematics and to using the language of mathematics. At the beginning of the study, 75% of the participants testified that learning mathematics terms is considered difficult. However, after learning them, by using the 90% changed their view, saying they felt more confident in learning the terms. Hence, it is highly recommended integrating in mathematics lessons activities like those presented above as well as a multi-disciplinary practice which will entail pupils' better and more meaningful comprehension of mathematics and will enrich knowledge of this subject.