Thursday, April 9, 2015

Writing In Mathematics

Hi all!

Today, my students took their quarter 3 final exams. It was as Algebra II exam that consisted of functions, notation, quadratics, parent functions, and complex numbers. The past few days, I had students work on a review packet and then went over it with them. What I noticed today was that students need more practice writing about mathematics. One of the open responses required them to write about a function they graphed using mathematical terminology. Students were given a bank of words that they could incorporate. Many students did not know how to use the words properly. However, if you asked them a question about the word, they would get it right. For example, they all could answer questions about domain and range, but when asked to write about it, they struggled.

Writing in math is so important to literacy. Often times, we think of math as numbers and computations. However, it is one thing for students to be able to do those computations, but it is another thing for them to actually understand what they are doing and explain it in words. My goal is to start implementing writing activities in my classroom more often to get students thinking critically about the math and improve their literacy skills.

I've looked into literacy strategies and found a few good ones. One strategy is journaling. After teaching a lesson, students can write in their journal about what they liked, what they understood the most, what they struggled with, how they learn best, etc. They can ask questions or anything they are still confused about. The teacher can then read through the journals. This will help the teacher understand what they students learned, what they need to be retaught, how the lesson went, etc. Teachers can use this tweak their lessons and better teach/meet the needs of their students.

Another strategy is the Frayer model which is a model to help students better learn vocabulary. I will dedicate a separate post to these literacy strategies, but just wanted to share a couple that I think could be helpful.

Does anyone else feel similar about literacy in their content area or have noticed students struggling to write?

Thanks for reading,

P.S. I will start posting about some of my TpT products, how to use them, etc. soon. I wanted to begin my blog discussing my journey through TpT and also discussing things I use in my classroom, things I've noticed, etc. because I don't just want this to be all about pushing teachers to buy resources. I want teachers to be able to come freely and read about my teaching journey and share similar stories, advice, etc. on here as well.

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