Monday, March 17, 2014

Math Workshop Series- Written Communication

As I've been working on this series of posts I've also been taking an  Additional Qualifications course on teaching math to primary and junior students (I think I mentioned it before). For this current unit I have been researching using writing in the math class and I am LOVING what I am learning. Not to mention that I am getting all sorts of ideas for products and freebies I plan to create!

These are a few of the resources I've been looking at:
Making Math Meaningful to Canadian Students, K-8 by Marian Small

And here's what I've learned:
Written Communication 
There are 6 types of written communication in math:

  • personal writing
  • descriptive writing
  • process writing
  • creation of word problems
  • creative writing
  • explanatory writing

When can you use writing in math?

  • before studying a concept to see what students already know 
  • during the unit to add to their previous writing
  • at the end of a unit to revisit what they learned
  • use writing when a student is confused as the task of writing can often clarify thinking
  • in journals or logs
  • ask students to write about a classmate’s solution or a discussion that took place in class
  • to explain their thinking after solving a math problem
  • after solving an open-ended math question, ask students why there could be so many possible answers and why it is important to look at things from a variety of perspectives
  • to explain a mathematical concept
  • to write about their learning process (metacognition)

Criteria for Written Communication

  • should be co-created with the students and hung where students can access it
  • create a checklist of criteria

Strategies to Help Incorporate Writing in the Math Classroom

  • discuss the purpose for the writing
  • discuss who the audience for their writing may be
  • model how to use details and how to explain their thinking
  • give students time to discuss their ideas before starting to write
  • have a math word wall of useful vocabulary
  • give students a prompt to help them get started
  • scaffold and support as needed
  • share in small groups or pairs
  • keep writing in a portfolio to assess growth over time

Do you use writing in your math workshop or math class? I'd love to know more about it and how you incorporate this important skill into your planning. 

Leave a comment below!

The series continues...

What topics are you most interested in reading about?

- Planning for Guided Math Lessons
- Problem Solving
- Math Games and Independent Activities
- Math Journals/Notebooks
- Math Vocabulary
- Math Calendar
- Interactive Math Notebook Ideas
- Using Manipulatives
- Anchor Charts

1 Brilliant Teaching Thoughts:

JulesLynae said...

This was my Graduate Thesis Project topic. Lots of great ways to use writing in Mathematics! Love to keep my kids writing and thinking!

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