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By:Amanda Raney Writing in Math! Want to Know Where You Can Order Great Books to Learn More Click HERE! Click Here to View Great Website Addresses for Ideas on Writing in Math! Bibliography of Electronic and Print Materials Click Here! What I Learned From My Research!

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writing in math

By:Amanda Raney

Writing in Math!

Want to Know Where You Can Order Great Books to Learn More

Click HERE!

Click Here to View Great Website Addresses for Ideas on Writing in Math!

Bibliography of Electronic and Print Materials

Click Here!

What I Learned From My Research!

To View Click HERE!

At anytime come back to the homepage and click this icon to end the slide show -->.

writing for a math class
Writing for a Math Class

This is a great website that provides, first, an explanation for why writing is important in math. One great statement from this part of the sight is “…until an idea is communicated to others it has not really made itself at home in our own minds.” This sight also explains how having students write about the history of math can bring this subject to life and make it much more interesting. One example it uses is “…how Alan Turing perhaps saved England during World War II by cracking the German enigma code, and that he did so only a few years after describing, for the first time, the mathematical idea of a programmable computer, an event that has transformed all our lives?”

Another great aspect of this sight is that it provides reasoning for both the student and the teacher as to why this is an important part of the learning process of math. It also provides some different writing assignment structures to add variation to your instruction. It then goes on to list in detail of how to write a paper for math for the students.

This sight can be used by math teachers for all ages to gather ideas of various assignments to use and to help them find reasoning behind doing these assignments for those who have difficulty doing so.

  • The address for this website is http://www.mathacademy.com/pr/minitext/writing/ .
tips for improving student writing
Tips for Improving Student Writing

The address for this website is

  • http://www.springfield.k12.il.us/resources/math/Assessment/tipforimprovingstudwriting.html

This website provides six steps for teachers to implement into their math classroom when writing, however, these steps can also be used in any content area.

1) Let the students know why you want them to write.

2) Provide the students with a clear understanding of the structure of the writing


3) Use cooperative learning.

4) Assist students who are stuck.

5) Use students’ writings as models.

6) Remember that improvement comes over time!

tips for improving student writing continued
Tips for Improving Student Writing Continued

This sight also provided strategies to consider using to assist students who are having difficulty. One strategy that I thought was good was “keep in mind the importance of having students talk about their ideas before writing. Talking can happen in a class discussion, conversation, with a small group, or with another student.

This sight could help teachers who are not sure about what to do with those students who tend to have the most difficulty writing, especially in math for all grades. Middle and High School teachers could really use these six steps in their classroom when learning has become more of a chore for students and need for the teacher to prove to them why this knowledge is needed and ways to make it interesting for them.

using writing in mathematics
Using Writing in Mathematics
  • The website address is http://www.ups.edu/community/tofu/lev2/journaling/writemath.htm

This website provides a great introduction for itself. It provides “a developmental model for incorporating writing into a math class.” It also “includes specific suggestions for managing journals, developing prompts for writing, and providing students with feedback on their writing.” One of the best parts of this site is that it “includes two sample lessons for introducing students to important ideas related to writing about their mathematical thinking.” I also really enjoy this site because it gives seven suggestions for ways to encourage students to write. Every teacher should be provided with these as a survival tool! Visit this site to see them for yourself!!!!

the math squad journal
The Math Squad Journal
  • The address for this website is http://www.mathsquad.com/mathjournal.html

This is a great website to visit to see how to truly be creative within your content area. This Cincinnati Christian School teacher of over 25 years gives knew meaning to older teachers be stuck in old routines. He calls himself Integer Jim and in his Algebra class they have created a journal that integrates art, writing, and math into a very fun activity. Just look for yourself!

This could be used in any Middle or High School math classroom. Just change the content of the journal. Not only will the students feel that they are doing something knew and exciting, but they will be learning how to write their knowledge of math into words without realizing it.

math journals for all ages
Math Journals for ALL Ages

This site provides reasoning as to why math journals are important and should be used throughout the students’ entire mathematical career. It also gives procedures and examples of prompts. One important aspect of the journals that this site mentions is that the journal entries should not take longer than five to seven minutes.

I really enjoy this site because of the example prompts that it provides to get you started with this idea in your classroom. I believe that the journals could be used in any area and they really do improve literacy because as it has been said ‘to teach is to learn’ and the most important part of teaching is being able to communicate your ideas through either written or oral language.

  • Visit this website athttp://math.about.com/library/weekly/aa123001a.htm
writing in math should it have a home in today s curriculum
Writing in Math: Should It Have a Home in Today’s Curriculum?
  • Visit this site at http://www.math.umd.edu/~dac/650/frankpaper.html

Still skeptical as to whether or not writing is that critical to the math curriculum? Visit this site! It provides an argument for reasons to write in math by Marcia Frank, a fifth grade teacher who teaches middle school math curriculum.

I wanted to include this site because it provides some very interesting points that come from someone with experience. She tells how much writing in math really does increase a students’ literacy and uses print sources to back her point.

a catalog of mathematics resources on the www and the internet
A Catalog of Mathematics Resources on the WWW and the Internet
  • The website address ishttp://mthwww.uwc.edu/wwwmahes/files/math01.htm

This is a great website for math teachers. I would recommend that all math educators have this site saved to their favorites. It offers mathematical jokes, journals, software, books, newsletters, discussion groups, history of math, and websites in other countries about math that are organized in an easy to follow manner.

This site could supplement writing in math by providing access to websites that discuss the history of mathematics that students could search and write about which will integrate technology into the process as well which is always great. It also provides websites in which to access books and journals about math.

This is the end of my internet sites. Please click on Home.

books to order to become an outstanding teacher
Books to Order to Become an Outstanding Teacher!
  • Writing in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematicswritten by John Meier and Thomas Rishel. This book discusses the parts of creating an effective writing assignment and why and how teacher’s should consider using such assignments. Click on the picture of the book to visit were to order.
  • Writing in Math Class written by Marilyn Burns. “This book gives a way to utilize the linguistic intelligence as a channel for math.” Click on the book to visit were to order.
  • The Write Math: Writing in the Math Class by Cathy Krpan. This book provides easy-to-use ideas for using writing in math. Click on the picture to view were to order.
more book suggestions
More Book Suggestions
  • Writing Math Research Papers: Enrichment for Math Enthusiastsby Robert Gerver. For only $13.95 this book “provides teachers and students with an invaluable list of interesting research topics, a bibliography of periodicals and problem-solving books accessible to high school students, and information about mathematical contests.” This book also serves as a resource for students to show how to properly write a mathematical research paper.

This is the end of my book selections. Click here!

different types of writings for math
Different Types of Writings for Math

1) Personal Essays

2) Biographical Sketches

3) Infinity Research Papers

4) “Large Numbers” Research Papers

5) Overpopulation Thesis Papers

6) Logical Fallacies Papers

7) Daily Notebooks

(Safire, 1997)

tips for improving student writing13
Tips for Improving Student Writing

1) Let the students know why you want them to write.

2) Provide the students with a clear understanding of the structure

of the writing assignment.

3) Use cooperative learning.

4) Assist students who are stuck.

5) Use students’ writings as models.

6) Remember that improvement comes over time!

(Burns, 1995)

teaching strategies for incorporating writing into math class
Teaching Strategies for Incorporating Writing Into Math Class
  • Begin with open-ended questions about students’ feelings
  • Have students write a “mathography”- a paragraph or so in which they describe their feelings about experiences in math, both in and out of school
  • Find ways to keep students writing for the allotted time
  • Next Step: Getting Students to Write about Familiar Mathematical Ideas
  • Write about simple, familiar math concepts
  • Use students writing samples to help them refine their writing
  • Introduce the term metacognition to help students understand the reason and audience for their writing
  • Moving On: Writing About More Advanced Math Concepts
  • Encourage your students to use drawings and graphs to explain their thinking
  • As student writing progresses, ask students to write about their small group work


when do you use journals
When Do You Use Journals?

1. When new material has been introduced

2. When the class looks disengaged or confused

3. When collaboration with fellow students is


4. When teaching the value of revising their work


journal procedures
Journal Procedures

1. Should be written at the end of a math exercise.

2. Should be in a separate book, one used specifically for mathematical thinking.

3. Should contain specific details about the areas of difficulties and success.

4. Should take no more than 5-7 minutes.

5. Can be done with children and adults.

6. Should not be done daily, it’s more important to do math journals with new concepts in areas specifically related to growth in mathematical problem solving.

7. Be patient, math journaling takes time to learn.

8. Remember. There’s no right or wrong way of thinking!

(Math journals for all ages, <http://math.about.com/library/weekly/aa123001a.htm>)

can t think of any prompts to use for journal entries here are a few to get you started
Can’t Think of Any Prompts to Use for Journal Entries!Here are a few to get you started.
  • I knew I was right when…..
  • If I missed________ I would have to_____.
  • The thing you have to remember with this kind of problem is…..
  • Tips I would give a friend to solve this problem are……..
  • I wish I knew more about……
  • How many times did you try to solve the problem? How did you finally solve it?

(Math journals for all ages, <http://math.about.com/library/weekly/aa123001a.htm>)

some uses for math journals
Some Uses for Math Journals
  • For Problem Solving
  • For Process Prompts
  • For Language Experience
  • For Class Discussion

Math journals can add great depth to the regular math classroom. Try them in yours!!!

(Burns, 2001, 18) This article can be found on EBSCOhost.

Contents of Project: Math JournalYou can view this project at http://www.mathsquad.com/mathjournal.html
  • Lecture Notes
  • Electronic Research Pages
  • Diagrams, Charts, and Illustrations
  • Students Personal Pages

This is an excellent project that integrates math, writing, and art into an extremely exciting project that the entire class can get involved in and have something to show their parents and the entire school.

(Bennett, 2001)

finally how to assess writing in math
Finally, How to Assess Writing in Math

The most important thing to remember when assessing math writings is that the content of the paper is the most important and not the style or form of the paper. Start out grading easy on the form part of the paper because the most important reason for using this in the math curriculum is so that students can communicate their thoughts and knowledge in writing.

(Safire, 1997)

This is the end. Please click home.


Bennett, J. (2001). Project: the math journal. Integer Jim’s MathSquad. Http://www.mathsquad.com/mathjournal.html.

Burns, M. & Silbey, R. (2001) Math journals boost real learning. Instructor, 18 (3), 18-20. (EBSCOhost)

Burns, M. (1995). Writing in math class. Math Solutions Publications. http://www.springfield.k12.il.us/resources/math/Asses



writemath.htm. (No other information provided for this source.)

Math journals for all ages. Reflecting About Mathematics. http://math.about.com/library/weekly/aa123001a.htm.

Safire, W. (1997). Writing for a math class. Math Academy Online. http://www.mathacadamy.com/pr/minitext/writing/.


I would like to take this time to include that all of this information can be used for any grade level. The only difference would be the content that is covered and the level of difficulty to which the students are graded on.I hope you found this research enjoyable, easy to get around, and that you learned just how valuable writing is to the math curriculum.

Thank You,

Amanda Raney