Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program


Department or Program Chair

Elizabeth Truesdell PhD

First Reader

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD


Mathematics is considered a universal language for students. However, now common core standards require students to explain their conceptual understanding through words, numbers, and verbal explanations. Student proficiency in the universal language is impeded when they do not speak the primary language. It is difficult for the teacher to teach both the academic language and mathematical concepts, when the vocabulary is not accessible to all students. Conversely it is difficult for students to follow the pacing of the class while having to translate and gain a conceptual understanding of the subject. The purpose of this study is to increase student mathematical achievement in group work using specific SIOP practices to improve English Language Learners math skills as measured by formative assessments.

The participants consist of two sixth grade classes, a total of 60 students, with two students that only speak Spanish. The students meet daily with the teacher/researcher for roughly 50 minutes each day. This is a non-experimental design using both qualitative and quantitative data by using evidence based practice of group work, as part of a Participatory Teacher Action Research. The teacher/researcher instructed students how to use specific SIOP practices in small groups where the students taught each other.

Keywords: English Language Learners, 6th grade, mathematical practices/vocabulary, SIOP strategies