Writing in mathematics learner

Learn More. Reading, writing, and mathematics are, or should be, inseparable.

writing in mathematics learner

Hands-on mathematics can stimulate curiosity, engage student interest and build important prior knowledge before students read or write about the topic.

The more students know about a topic, the better they comprehend and learn from text on the topic. Prior knowledge is the strongest predictor of student ability to make inferences from text.

writing in mathematics learner

Hands-on mathematics, though, must be combined with minds-on activities. Reading and writing activities can help students analyze, interpret and communicate mathematical ideas. These are skills needed to evaluate sources of information and the validity of the information itself, a key competency for mathematically literate citizens.

Many of the process skills needed for mathematics are similar to reading skills and, when taught together, would reinforce each other. Examples of common skills are predicting, inferring, communicating, comparing and contrasting, and recognizing cause and effect relationships.

Teachers who recognize the interrelatedness of mathematics and literacy processes can design instruction that reflects these similarities. Becoming a Nation of Readers suggests that the most logical place for instruction in most reading and thinking strategies is in the content areas rather than in separate lessons about reading.

The importance of writing in the mathematics classroom cannot be overemphasized. In the process of writing, students clarify their own understanding of mathematics and hone their communication skills.

They must organize their ideas and thoughts more logically and structure their conclusions in a more coherent way. Motivating and engaging students to speak, ask questions, learn new vocabulary and write their thoughts comes easily when they are curious, exploring and engaged in their own mathematics inquiry. Integrating literacy activities into mathematics classes helps clarify concepts and can make mathematics more meaningful and interesting.

Teachers can use a wide variety of literature, including trade books, texts and fiction. Selecting a fiction book with a mathematical theme both provides information and captivates student interest.

Fiction works successfully with young learners by embedding cognitive learning in imaginative stories.

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Asking students to write mathematics journals about their problem-solving experiences or to articulate and defend their views about mathematics-related issues provides opportunities to clarify their thinking and develop communications skills. Other ways to integrate writing in mathematics are recording and describing situations that involve mathematics, and writing persuasive letters on social issues like the use of sampling by the Census Bureau.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics provides annual lists of outstanding new literature and multimedia materials.

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For English language learners, instruction in mathematics can be enhanced by the use of hands-on materials. Interacting with materials and phenomena enables English language learners to ask and answer questions of the materials themselves and use the materials as visual aids in conversation with the teacher and peers. Visual and auditory clues should be plentiful — charts with pictures of materials and key procedures, for example.

Teachers should select vocabulary carefully, repeat key words often, and refer to charts with the written words. Working in pairs or small groups makes native language support by peers or instructional aides more feasible.

Reading and Writing in Math Class

Mathematics teachers can help all students increase their comprehension of mathematics texts by activating their prior knowledge through brainstorming, discussing the topic, asking questions and providing analogies. Specific attention to vocabulary is often necessary to enable comprehension of mathematics texts. Teachers should introduce new vocabulary and use a graphic organizer, concept or semantic map or collaborative peer study techniques to develop understanding of new words.

Anderson, R. Hiebert, I. Barton, M. Teaching Reading in Mathematicssecond edition Aurora, Colo. Billmeyer, R.Teachers incorporate writing in math class to help students reflect on their learning, deepen their understanding of important concepts by explaining and providing examples of those concepts, and make important connections to real-life applications of the math they are learning.

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Often students who have difficulty writing in math class have less difficulty telling the teacher what they think. Think-Pair-Share : Some students are reluctant to write at first and benefit from practice sharing thoughts with a partner and hearing that partner put thoughts into words.

Students then share their written responses with partners during which time students might elect to edit their own written response, choosing to replace certain words with better mathematical vocabulary, or add ideas and statements from their partner's writing.

Students who work through these strategies start to make the connection that "what I think" is "what I should write" and this realization, along with posted prompts, helps reluctant writers get started on written expression of important mathematical concepts or explanations of their thoughts and problem solutions.

Writing in Mathematics Featured Topic: Writing in Math Class Teachers incorporate writing in math class to help students reflect on their learning, deepen their understanding of important concepts by explaining and providing examples of those concepts, and make important connections to real-life applications of the math they are learning.Teachers often find it difficult to integrate writing and mathematics while honoring the integrity of both disciplines.

In this article, the authors present two levels of integration that teachers may use as a starting point.

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The first level, writing without revision, can be worked into mathematics instruction quickly and readily. The second level, writing with revision, may take more time but enables teachers to connect the writing process more fully with mathematics instruction.

Six examples are provided, including student work, in which teachers have successfully attended to the goals of both writing and mathematics. The and reports of the National Assessment of Educational Progress NAEP writing as ses sment National Center for Education Statistics,administered to 8th and 12th graders, show an increase in writing scores. Applebee and Langer's analysis of NAEP data as well as other sources published during the decade preceding their review revealed that the more frequently students reported writing one or more paragraphs in science and social studies, the higher their writing achievement.

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The results, however, were lower in mathematics. Indeed, many teachers find it more natural to integrate writing and science e. Wolsey examined the complexity of student writing and vocabulary learning in a cross-disciplinary writing project involving English, science, and social studies.

Where was mathematics? That we see so few examples of the integration of writing and mathematics in educational literature seems surprising, considering that the mathematics education community has affirmed the importance of such integration for many years.

InCountryman's book, Writing to Learn Mathematics: Strategies That Work, K, captured the attention of mathematics educators amid a flurry of interest and ideas e.

Almost a decade later, NCTM specifically stressed writing as "an essential part of mathematics and mathematics education" p. Still, many teachers struggle to link writing and mathematics and honor the integrity of both disciplines at the same time. Teachers of writing might say that if students are assigned to describe the process they used in solving a problem with no revision or editing, the quality of integration is drawn into question.

Teachers of mathematics might say that if students are asked to write a report on a famous mathematician they may not be engaged in developing mathematical reasoning no matter how many drafts they write. Although the appropriate balance may be elusive, the endeavor is nevertheless worthy of being undertaken e.

There are two levels of integration that teachers may use as a beginning point. Writing without revision, the first level, can be readily worked into mathematics instruction. Writing with revision, the second level, may take more time but enables teachers to connect the writing process more fully with mathematics instruction.

writing in mathematics learner

Each level can be appropriate under differing circumstances. In Carter's description of writing tasks in her mathematics instruction, both levels are reflected. She had her students write in what she called "mathematical notebooks" p. She also had her students write about mathematics in a process-oriented way during writing workshop.

Although Carter's reflective mathematical journals and stories about mathematical concepts in writing workshop may not represent an ideal solution, they demonstrate one teacher's exploration of the possibilities.

This article presents six additional examples, including student work, in which teachers have attended to the goals of both writing and mathematics.The logical-mathematical learning style is one of eight types of learning styles, or intelligences, defined in developmental psychologist Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences.

Logical-mathematical learning style refers to your ability to reason, solve problems, and learn using numbers, abstract visual information, and analysis of cause and effect relationships. Logical-mathematical learners are typically methodical and think in logical or linear order. They may be adept at solving math problems in their heads and are drawn to logic puzzles and games.

People with logical-mathematical learning styles use reasoning and logical sequencing to absorb information. They like to work with numbers, find logical methods to answer questions, classify, and categorize.

They are comfortable working with the abstract.

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They enjoy school activities such as math, computer science, technology, drafting, design, chemistry, and other "hard sciences. They have strong visual analysis, memory, and problem-solving skills. Natural tinkerers and builders, they enjoy bringing mathematical and conceptual ideas into reality via hands-on projects such as computer-assisted design, creating electronic devices, using computer applications, or programming computers.

People with the logical-mathematical learning style often seek out rules and procedures and may be less assured when those don't exist. They may not be tolerant when others don't follow logical sequences, rules, or procedures. They may need to work on seeing the big picture and systems thinking. People with logical-mathematical learning styles learn best when they're taught using visual materials, computers, statistical and analytical programs, and hands-on projects.

writing in mathematics learner

They prefer structured, goal-oriented activities that are based on math reasoning and logic rather than less structured, creative activities with inexact learning goals. Logical-mathematical learners would find a statistical study more appealing than analyzing literature or keeping a journal. As part of a group project, the mathematical logical learner may want to contribute by making an agenda or list, setting numerical goals, ranking brainstorming ideas, putting steps into a sequence, keeping track of the progress of the group, and constructing data reports.

They often also enjoy troubleshooting problems using logic, analysis, and math. The mathematically and logically talented student may be drawn to careers such as computer programmer, computer technician, systems analysis, network analysis, database designer, and engineering electronic, mechanical, or chemical. Professions that deal with numbers will appeal too such as an accountant, auditor, financial and investment consultant, bookkeeper, mathematician, and statistician.

They may also enjoy drafting, architecture, physics, astronomy, and other areas of science. In medical and allied professions, they may be drawn to medical technology, pharmacy, and medical specialties.

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Pehlivan A, Durgut M. Journal of Education and Social Policy. Rev Bras Educ Med. MI Oasis. The Components of MI. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Sign Up.Students of all grades can benefit from writing out math concepts rather than simply solving problems. Here are some math prompts and activities that can help your students grasp concepts — and can show you where they need extra explanation as well. Some of the prompts are more general, and others relate to specific skills, but they can all be applied to various areas of math.

In the lower grades, introducing writing into the math curriculum serves a dual purpose — it helps students improve their writing skills, and it helps students who enjoy writing to carry that enjoyment over to math.

The best way to incorporate writing and math class at the lower grades is by introducing math fiction.

Writing in Mathematics

Students write math fiction by taking a math skill they have learned and writing a fiction story that encompasses the skill. If you are teaching addition, for example, a student who enjoys fantasy stories might write the following:. One was pink, and the other was green.

Three more fairies came to sit with them on the flower. Then there were five fairies! This may seem simplistic, but it can apply to more difficult skills as well, such as calculating money, fractions, simple algebra, and even probability and statistics. Essentially, students are creating their own word problems. Even though some students may struggle with word problems, creating a word problem can help them understand just how the problem works.

Although students in the upper grades can benefit from writing math fiction under certain circumstances, they can also use writing to understand the way that they think. Metacognition, or thinking about thinking, is an important concept in education. When children are forced to think about their own thought processes, they clarify concepts for themselves. Reading their writing can also help you understand where your students are coming from, as well as how to help them reach their goals.

Here are several writing activities and prompts you can use in the math classroom to encourage metacognition:. Page content. All Grades — Math Concepts Students of all grades can benefit from writing out math concepts rather than simply solving problems. Article authored by Keren Perles.Include Synonyms Include Dead terms. Download full text. Writing is the ability to compose text effectively for different purposes and audiences.

When many of us reflect on our own school experiences, we recall writing in English and history classes, but not in mathematics. Math classes previously relied on skill-building and conceptual understanding activities. Today, teachers are realizing that writing during a math lesson is more than just a way to document information; it is a way to deepen student learning and a tool for helping students gain new perspectives. They realize, too, that students whose strengths are language-based--and many are--use writing as the key to understanding other disciplines, especially mathematics.

Like most things, learning to write well requires instruction and practice. In this booklet, the author aims to nudge secondary math teachers who are thinking about using writing in their classrooms more extensively and to encourage those who want to begin.

Section One gives a brief background that answers the question you may be wondering: Why write in mathematics?

Section Two describes the existing role of writing in the mathematics curriculum, and Section Three provides strategies and ideas to put into practice right away.

Contains 1 footnote.Journal writing can be a valuable technique to further develop and enhance your mathematical thinking and communication skills in mathematics. Journal entries in mathematics provide opportunities for individuals to self-assess what they've learned. When one makes an entry into a math journalit becomes a record of the experience received from the specific math exercise or problem-solving activity. The math no longer becomes a task whereby the individual simply follows the steps or rules of thumb.

When a math journal entry is required as a follow up to the specific learning goal, one actually has to think about what was done and what was required to solve the specific math activity or problem.

Writing in Math Class? Math Writing Prompts and Assignments

Math instructors also find that math journaling can be quite effective. When reading through the journal entries, a decision can be made to determine if further review is required. When an individual writes a math journal, they must reflect on what they have learned which becomes a great assessment technique for individuals and instructors.

If math journals are something new, you will want to use the following strategies to assist the implementation of this valuable writing activity. There's no right or wrong way of thinking! We will often discover solutions to problems when we write about the problem". Another strategy that helps to retain math concepts and support understanding is knowing how to take great notes in math.

Share Flipboard Email. Deb Russell. Math Expert. Deb Russell is a school principal and teacher with over 25 years of experience teaching mathematics at all levels. Updated March 03,


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