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Technical Writing Essentials for Math and Science. A Title II Grant through Montana North Central Education Service and the Golden Triangle Curriculum Cooperative. GOALS of the Grant. to increase the ability of teachers to teach and evaluate technical writing skills;

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technical writing essentials for math and science

Technical Writing Essentials for Math and Science

A Title II Grant


Montana North Central Education Service and the Golden Triangle Curriculum Cooperative

goals of the grant
GOALS of the Grant
  • to increase the ability of teachers to teach and evaluate technical writing skills;
  • to integrate technical writing skills into curriculum and instruction;
  • to enable students to meet challenging state standards, particularly as demonstrated on the CRT and Writing Assessment tests;
  • to enable students to better technical writing requirements in the workplace.
the twems project directly involves
The TWEMS project directly involves
  • Up to twenty-four middle and high school Mathematics and Science teachers for a 3-credit course from March to November
  • Up to ten teachers from the previous year who will serve as mentors
  • Up to 40 teachers in a 1-credit two-day course in the summer
project components for 3 credit course
Project Components for 3-Credit course
  • A three-day Summer Institute for teachers at MSU Northern in Havre
  • Three days of introductory and follow-up workshops at MSUN: one in the Spring and two in the Fall.
  • A Spring and Fall classroom visit from a facilitator or university consultant who will provide additional in-person support.
twems participating teachers and schools received
TWEMS participating teachers and schools received
  • A $740 stipend that represents 37 outside-of-contract hours, with 1/2 being paid on March 28 and the final payment on November 9;
  • Additional funding to cover college credits costs;
  • Course materials, including a binder and text;
  • Funds to pay substitutes for three days at $65 per day; and
  • Travel expenses to workshops including motel, per diem, and mileage for a maximum of one car per school.

Activity:Explaining Math Problems

  • You have a problem to solve. In addition to working out the correct answer, write a complete description of how you went about solving the problem.
select one problem to work and to explain
Select one problem to work and to explain.
  • 1.912 divided by .92
  • 4326 minus 2547
  • 7/9 x 6/8
  • 4 divided by 7
  • 7,002 minus 359
  • 54 minus 35
  • 6 7/5 minus 2 5/15
twems facilitators
TWEMS Facilitators
  • Dottie Susag - Director
  • Diana Knudson – Director of GTCC
  • Julie Henry – 5th Grade Teacher, Step-Up Trainer, Malta
  • Noel Osterman – English/Librarian, 6-TraitTrainer,Geyser
  • Cathy Corr – Director of Technical Writing, UM COT
  • Darlene Bricker – College of Education, MSUN
  • Stacey Dolezal – College of Education, MSUN
  • Carol Reifschneider - Science, College of Arts/Science, MSUN
  • Robert Johnke – Math, College of Arts/Science, MSUN
  • Will Rawn - English, College of Arts/Science, MSUN 
the twems definition of technical writing
The TWEMS Definition of Technical Writing:

Technical writing clearly comunicatesexpert information to a specific audience for an intended purpose.

What does this mean to you?

  • clearly communicates:
  • expert information:
  • specific audience:
  • intended purpose: 

How is this different from writing that students might do in English or history classes?

the ethics of technical writing
The Ethics of Technical Writing

“It is unethical to show what you know instead of helping the reader with what he/she needs to know.”

(Cathy Coor, Head of Technical Writing Department at University of Montana)

Meeting the needs of the audience is key to good technical writing.

essentials of technical writing
EssentialsofTechnical Writing
  • Ideas: Details -- Clear and concise
  • Format: Organization, fonts, lists, headings – Logical for the purpose
  • Design: Graphics and placement –supportive of ideas
  • Purpose: Reason for writing -- Clear to readers
  • Audience: Age, level of expertise and knowledge, etc.

“Powerful forces in the Earth shoved the colorful rock of the Lewis Overthrust into the sky 75 million years ago. The young mountains intercepted clouds. Rain and snowmelt fed streams draining into three major river systems, and living things found their way up into these mountains from all directions.” (National Park Service,U.S. Department of the Interior)

        • Who is the audience? What is the purpose? Is information clear and concise? Is the perspective objective?

“Glacier Park means a lot to me because it is home to the mule deer, the swift gray brown ghosts of the mountain slopes. Bounding easily through frigid fluffy snow drifts. Living in harsh conditions and instilling wonderful feelings in human viewers. How could one not love a place with the qualities to allow these marvelous animals to thrive?”(Fraley, 2006)

        • Who is the audience? What is the purpose? Is information clear and concise? Is the perspective objective?


“Three General Rules of Technical Writing”

Catherine S. Hibbard

“Six Principles of Technical Writing”


Apply the criteria you’ve just reviewed to the following texts.

  • You might consider the questions regarding purpose, audience, objective tone, clarity and conciseness.
  • You might consider syntax and format, vocabulary, punctuation, fonts, etc.

“Any person, company or organization that purchases or controls a pesticide is legally responsible for proper use, handling, storage, and disposal. It is illegal to bury, burn or discard a pesticide or its container in a manner inconsistent with instructions found on the label.”

“2009 Waste Pesticide Collection Program” Montana Department of Agriculture


Summer Hours

Sunday . . . . . . . . . . Closed

Monday . . . 10 AM – 6 PM

Tuesday, Wednesday, and

Thursday . . 10 AM – 8 PM

Friday and

Saturday . . 10 AM – 6 PM

hunter hack english pleasure
Hunter Hack English Pleasure

Judging Criteria

  • Manners 40%
  • Gait 20%
  • Conformation 20%
  • Jumping 20%

“2009 Cascade County 4-H Horse Showing Rules and County Policy”


Why keep mice and rats out of your home?

Some mice and rats can carry harmful diseases, such as HPS, leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, plague, and typhus. The best way to protect you and your family from these diseases is to keep mice and rats out of your home.

What you can do outside your home:

  • Use a thick plastic or metal garbage can with a tight lid. Make sure there are no holes in the garbage can.
  • Clean up trash, brush, and weeds around your home.
  • Check the outside of your house for gaps and holes. Seal them with cement, lath metal, hardware cloth or sheet metal.
  • Put away pet food after use.
  • Keep grains and animal feed in thick plastic or metal containers with tight lids.
  • Get rid of old trucks, cars, and old tires. Mice and rats may use these as homes.
  • Move woodpiles 100 feet or more from the house. Raise the wood at least 1 foot off the ground.

“Facts about Hantaviruses” Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



Care should be taken when firewood is cut and transported. Bark beetles can continue to develop under the bark of infested firewood and emerge the following summer to attack nearby trees. Standing dead pine trees that are completely grey-brown typically do not have living bark beetles. Pine trees that are red during July and August may contain beetles. Trees cut for firewood can be inspected by removing some bark with an axe. Sighs of old abandoned galleries underneath the bark is fine as long as there are no adult or larval beetles present.

“Mountain Pine Beetle: Infesting Urban and Shelterbelt Trees.” Montana DNRC MSU Extension



Shock due to Injury


  • Weakness and cold, clammy skin with pale or bluish tinge
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Faint and/or rapid pulse
  • Restlessness, confusion or agitation
  • Nausea and sweating


  • Call for medical assistance.
  • Lay victim down, tilt head to one side.
  • Loosen clothing; keep victim warm.
  • Control any bleeding.
  • Keep victim calm and quiet.
  • Do not administer liquid. Moisten lips if necessary.
  • Elevate legs if there are no suspected hip, leg, head, neck or back injuries.

“First Aide.” World’s #1 Quick Reference Guide. Bar Charts, Inc. Quick Study Health.


“In spite of all the publicity it has been given, the brown recluse spider is not yet known to inhabit Montana, yet bites by other spiders are often misdiagnosed as brown recluse bites. And while black widow spiders are common in Montana, much of the fear concerning them is not warranted despite their unsavory reputation.

County agents and health officials can do a better job of dispelling fears about spiders if they have some knowledge about spider identification and biology.”

Jensen, Gary L., Will Lanier and Catherine E. Seibert. “Spider Identification and Management.” E-5

Montana State University Extension Service Montguide MT199210 AG 3/2002

fast snacks for people on the go

It is easy to eat healthy food even when you are in a time crunch. Remember a healthy snack comes from two parts of the USDA Food Pyramid. Some fun ideas for summer travel include:

  • Whole grain cereal mixed into fruit-flavored, low fat yogurt.
  • Lean roast beef, ham, or turkey rolled up in a whole wheat tortilla plus a handful of cherry tomatoes.
  • A scoop of low fat or fat-free cottage cheese with sliced strawberries or cantalope cubes.
  • Fig bars with a glass of milk.

“Cascade County Homemakers” July/August 2009 Montana State University Extension, Cascade County

men at work
Men at Work

Four old friends return from a ski trip and happen upon a large rock teetering on the side of the road. The rock becomes a metaphoric obsession in this sly Iranian comedy that skewers the men’s egos, their mid-life crises and our tendency to become sidetracked from real issues. Berlin, Tribeca, Singapore Film Fests. 77 min. d. Mani haghighi. Farsi w. subtitles. Iran, 2006. (AS)

Short: Hold Up, d. MadeleinOinek

“2009-2010 Foreign and Independent Film Festival at the Great Falls Public Library . . . Funded by Dorothy Lampen Thomson and the GFPL Foundation


Zulus and Colds?

What does Zulu medicine have to do with treating colds? Perhaps everything, suggest several recent clinical studies. Scientists are finding that a natural medicine made from roots of Pelargonium sidoides (a type of geranium unique to South Africa) can reduce severity and shorten duration of symptoms associated with common colds and other upper respiratory illnesses such as sinusitis and bronchitis. Imagine getting over a cold or sinus infection faster. And even better, do so naturally!

P. Sidoides is a breakthrough discovery, especially since we Americans suffer a billion colds and lose approximately 42 million work and school days to the illness each year. Yet while certainly news to us, Zulu healers have been using P. Sidoidesmedicinally for centuries.

Morris, Dean, MH. “Cold Relief.” Taste for Life: Expert Advice. (2004)

essentials of technical writing1
EssentialsofTechnical Writing
  • Ideas: Details -- Clear and concise
  • Format: Organization, fonts, lists, headings – Logical for the purpose
  • Design: Graphics and placement –supportive of ideas
  • Purpose: Reason for writing -- Clear to readers
  • Audience: Age, level of expertise and knowledge, etc.