Ways To Incorporate Writing Into Mathematics
There are a fair amount of people that believe that the numbers play the extremely dominant role in mathematics; however, I believe that the words are just as important as the numbers. There is really no point in being able to find the answer to an equation using numbers if you cannot communicate that answer to another individual using words!
Include Realistic Mathematical Questions That Require 1-2 Paragraph Answers
My grade 4 class is required to complete a journal every day that the students are in school; most of the journals consist of a question that requires a simple opinionated answer. One way to include writing in mathematics in a natural way would be to incorporate some mathematical questions into their journals 2 days per week. The mathematical questions will contain realistic and practical questions. An example of a question that I would use would be “how many pies would you need to serve a party of 16 people if each pie can only be divided up into 4 pieces; what other desserts could you include in the party and divide up evenly?”
The article entitled Math Journals Boost Real Learning stresses the importance of mathematical journals and mathematical writing. It would be easy to incorporate the ideas that this article presents because my grade 4 class is already accustomed to completing a journal on a daily basis; it would be a simple change to our current schedule.
Have A Class Math Spelling Test
Many teachers have spelling tests on a weekly basis; these spelling tests tend to include the words that are important for that specific week of the year, and grade level of the class. I would try to replace the word lists on the spelling tests with mathematical words. In addition, I feel that replacing one of the tests every month with mathematical vocabulary would definitely be beneficial.
These mathematical spelling tests would be graded in the same fashion, and would be weighted equally with the other spelling tests. The article entitled Marilyn Burns On The Language Of Math stresses the importance of practicing math’s unique vocabulary. I believe that improving the students’ fluency on mathematical vocabulary will definitely help them to better understand the mathematical word problems that they encounter throughout the homework.
Integrate Mathematics And Writing By Asking The Students To Write About mathematics During Both Subjects
I was really drawn to the article entitled Writing In Math Class? Absolutely! Because of the catchy title. Upon reading through the first page, I had immediately realized the importance of integrating mathematics and writing in a classroom.
I would definitely instruct my students to write out their answers in full sentences during math class, and focus on instructing a few writing lessons that incorporate mathematical equations and vocabulary during writing class. This integration will allow the students to practice mathematical writing more than ever!