I try to have my students explain what they do in their problems, they keep vocabulary lists and working in groups they often teach each other subject matter. I am curious as to whether others use more writing in their math classes such as writing prompts, small essays etc. I would love some new ideas and ways to incorporate writing in my class.
Please share any writing strategies you use when teaching math.
Kara, sounds like you are already doing some terrific things with math and writing. I'm not a math teacher but I remembered seeing some articles on this topic in a site called MathWire. Here is the link: http://mathwire.com/index.html Hopefully you can find something useful there.
Here at ReadWriteThink.org we have some lesson plans and teaching resources that integrate math and literacy:
Students explore how their problem-solving strategies work by writing in math journals as they work in small groups to solve a math puzzle with multiple solutions.
Students create math stories by first drawing, then writing, and finally using math symbols to show addition or subtraction.
After reading a piece of math-related children’s literature aloud, students pose and solve new problems by what-if questions about the events in the story.
Students’ reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills add up as they decipher word problems and use what they’ve learned to solve a crossword puzzle.
Using census data for an example, students use the question-answer relationship (QAR) strategy to understand and solve word problems that refer to tables and other graphics.
Students create posters using images, text, and mathematical equations to represent a story problem.
Students use their emerging writing skills to write shopping lists. They work within a budget, use problem-solving skills to create lists, and buy their favorite treats at the class store.
Children will use a variety of mathematics and literacy skills as they create shopping lists to use at the store to buy their favorite treats.
I have students create a setting and write a word problem to solve in geometry. They have a lot of fun with it and some are very creative. It has ranged as something as simple as the figuring the perimeter of the school to comparing the volume of 2 feedbags for horses to the thickness of a cylinder. It adapts well to multiple levels.
My students must answer word problems in complete sentences. For example: Mary has 3 apples and Paul has 6 apples. How many do they have altogether?
After they do the computation, the finall answer is " They have 9 apples. or May and Paul have 9 apples. or together, Mary and Paul have 9 apples." They hated it at first but now try to outdo each other.