ERIC Number: EJ1016630
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr
Beyond the Write Answer: Mathematical Connections
Haltiwanger, Leigh; Simpson, Amber M.
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v18 n8 p492-498 Apr 2013
As math teachers, the authors often encountered students who could ace a test but not explain their reasoning. This phenomenon was disturbing to them, and they fought for years to help students both understand mathematical concepts and develop meaning for them. Since their primary goal was to develop mathematically literate students, their solution was to help them explain their thinking and focus their efforts on writing. Doing this depended on expanding tools for incorporating writing into their classroom. They worked tirelessly to help students understand that writing in mathematics should consist of: (1) drawings, pictures, tables, and graphs; (2) incomplete sentences that included symbols, equations, and expressions; (3) explanations of problem-solving methods and justifications of processes; and (4) reflections of learning. Writing aided their students in communicating their thinking in an organized and coherent manner and encouraged them to see mathematics as interconnected concepts, helping them make connections between classroom content and real-life situations (NCTM 2000). In this article, the authors present four writing strategies they used in their classrooms to promote reasoning, sense making, mathematical connections, and clear communication. They found that these strategies were an easy fit with many topics they taught. Each strategy can be easily adapted to various topics in mathematics.
Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Content Area Writing, Mathematical Concepts, Mathematical Logic, Concept Formation, Writing (Composition), Relevance (Education), Writing Strategies, Thinking Skills, Communication Skills, Word Problems (Mathematics), Middle Schools, Poetry, Figurative Language
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.nctm.org/publications/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A