As in other subjects, writing forces us to order our thoughts, make them clear to others. In mathematics, writing, as difficult as it is, helps students organize their understandings of concepts and set out for themselves their reasoning about a problem and its solution. As stated in the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, “students who have opportunities, encouragement, and support for writing, reading, and listening in mathematics classes reap dual benefits: they communicate to learn mathematics, and they learn to communicate mathematically” (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 2000).
Writing comes easily to few of us, and that includes our students. These resources offer practical advice learned from the experiences of teachers in the classroom. If you would, share with your colleagues your ideas on using writing as a teaching/learning tool by commenting on this blog post.
A Case for Using Reading and Writing in a Mathematics Classroom
Speaking from her own experiences as a math teacher, Sarah Kasten tells how — and why — she introduced reading and writing in her classroom. She shares how she directed her classes to do 5-minute, impromptu writing assignments, explain their problem-solving process, or even explain a new concept and create their own example problems.
Writing in Mathematics
A brief teacher-to-teacher article on getting started with writing in math class — moving from think-pair-share to a less-known model: think-write-pair-share. A set of helpful links to other teachers’ experiences is given.
Math and Communication
You’ll find solid tips on encouraging and supporting math talk in this brief piece by well-known math teacher Kay Toliver.
Adapting Literacy Strategies to Improve Student Performance on Constructed-Response Items
This article discusses ways of adapting various reading strategies to help students improve their answers to extended-response questions on the mathematics portion of high-stakes tests. A practical article directed to teachers.
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