I work with emerging multi-lingual students every day. The importance of focusing on content language as well as other language structures are at the forefront of how my lessons are planned and enacted. One way to challenge students’ learning and improve the use of language having students make math videos explaining their thinking.

It’s a simple idea with powerful advantages. I’ve found that holding students to a high level of explanation (written and verbal) and use of content language has actually helped students make better arguments and even understand the math more deeply.

The project was simple. (1) Choose an equation from this list. (2) Draw the idea using algebra tiles. (3) Explain your solution mathematically (with algebra tiles, a picture, or with numbers and letters). (4) Write a script and make a video explaining your solution (the script is super important for students new to the English language; different levels of structure and supports can be changed up to support the students with whom you’re working). Here’s an example of a video from our latest project.