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ERIC Number: EJ832013
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-1051-1970
Writing in Mathematics: Making It Work
Seto, Bethany; Meel, David E.
PRIMUS, v16 n3 p204-232 Sep 2006
This paper examines various issues surrounding the use of writing in the teaching and learning of mathematics using the voice and experiences of a licensed High School teacher instructing introductory college mathematics as a graduate teaching assistant. In general, we detail the journey taken by this teacher to explore the push for writing by major mathematical organizations, to learn about options for implementing writing as well as the benefits of doing so, and then to actually implement writing in her own classroom on a weekly basis. In particular, the teacher we studied employed three major types of writing activities: mathematical biographies, minute papers, and journaling. We include descriptions of the specific writing assignments she used, examples showing the range of student responses, and a discussion of the teacher's reaction to her student's submissions. We make many arguments for the use of writing in the teaching and learning of mathematics using this teacher's experience but recognize that one of the greatest concerns many teachers have about incorporating writing into their classroom is time. One major point we draw attention to is that whether you choose to implement and assess writing assignments meticulously or casually, there are benefits to be experienced in some capacity for both the student and teacher. Generally speaking, we observed that the writing activities the teacher employed influenced her decision-making in the classroom and caused her and her students to become reflective on their roles and expectations in the classroom. The teacher found that the additional burden caused by having students write was minimal and, when compared to the useful information she received, was insignificant. As a result, we provide further proof that writing activities can be incorporated and the benefits of doing so can be realized without significant changes to an instructor's routine. (Contains 10 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A