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- 1. Writing in the Mathematics Classroom<br />By: Alison Eanes<br />maed 5040<br />3-18-2010<br />
- 2. Writing to Learn<br />Writing helps students become aware of what they know and do not know, can and cannot do.<br />“I’m starting to feel more comfortable on the computer….”<br />When students write they connect their prior knowledge with what they are studying.<br />“Before I had the ability to plot a graph, but now I can manipulate…..”<br />
- 3. Writing to Learn<br />They summarize their knowledge & give teachers insights into their understanding.<br />“….I can find zeros, turning points, etc.”<br />They raise questions about new ideas.<br />“I wonder how to do the slopes of curves.”<br />They reflect on what they know.<br />“The difference between two points changes when….”<br />
- 4. Where to Start??<br />If you have never had students write in class before, start with a warm up asking students to:<br />Describe what we did in class yesterday.<br />Explain what went wrong on problem 3 in the test.<br />Discuss the most difficult homework problem.<br />With more time, you might ask:<br />Write a letter to an absent classmate about the new theorem.<br />
- 5. Effective Strategies<br />Ask students to write a short note on the back of their homework paper:<br />Was this hard or easy?<br />What was most difficult?<br />What was new?<br />With reading assignments, ask students to write a list of he main ideas, definitions of new terms, or new methods. Include these on tests.<br />
- 6. More Effective Strategies<br />Give students writing prompts, like:<br />I think calculators…<br />Factoring is easy when…<br />I can do word problems when…<br />To study for a math test I usually…<br />The trouble with this section is…<br />
- 7. Useful Activities <br />Think-Pair-Share & Think-Write-Pair-Share<br />Discussion strategy where students think individually, write down their thoughts, and share with classmates how to answer a question or solve a problem. <br />This is great alternative to calling on individual students randomly and expecting them to answer on the spot.<br />This activity is also useful when students are not responding to a question asked by the teacher.<br />
- 8. Math Vocabulary Journals<br />This enables students to select their own vocabulary words to develop and increase their knowledge.<br />Helps students focus attention on new words of interest, whether in the classroom or at home.<br />
- 9. RAFT (Role, Audience, Format, Topic)<br />This is a system that helps students understand their roles as writers (R), the audience they will address (A), the varied formats for writing (F), and the expected topic (T). <br />RAFT’s are usually written from a view poit other than the students and to an audience rather than to the teacher.<br />
- 10. KWL Plus (Know, Want, Learned)<br />This is a brainstorming strategy that requires the students to tell everything they know (K) about a math topic, indicate what they want (W) to know, or expect to learn, and then after the lesson, tell what they have Learned (L).<br />
- 11. GIST (Generating Interactions between Schemata and Text)<br />This activity advances comprehension by having students summarize or generalize a longer text.<br />This allows students to put problems into their own words.<br />This is a great activity for word problems.<br />
- 12. Resources<br />Countryman, Joan (1992). Writing to Learn Mathematics, Strategies That Work. Portsmouth, NH: Heinmann. <br />Kawas, Terry (2006). Writing in Mathematics. <br />http://www.mathwire.com/writing/writing1.html<br />Taylor, Bruce D. & Wood, Karen D (2006). Literacy Strategies Across the Subject Areas. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.<br />

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