Use Writing to Teach Math

  • Do you know you can teach math through writing? As crazy as it sounds, if you want to make learning math easy for any student, it is possible. And one such way is to teach math through writing. That’s right, writing.
    Making math easy to learn simply requires utilizing a student’s natural learning strengths so that student will be engaged in the math curriculum and make significant learning gains. Writing is just one way teachers are making math easy providing a foundation for the future.

    It has been shown that teachers who integrate writing into their math curriculum significantly improve student learning and have a better understanding of the students they are teaching.

    That’s because there are many students who learn best while utilizing language. Writing is an integral part of utilizing language and infusing writing into a math curriculum will help all students truly learn the concepts. It should also be noted that writing is an important aspect of the Common Core State Standards.

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    Writing in math class

    How can writing help students think more deeply and clearly about mathematical ideas?

    Through different types of writing—journal writing, solving math problems, explaining mathematical ideas, and linking creative writing to math — students sort, clarify, and define their thinking about math.

    Writing in mathematics is a win-win for both teacher and student.  Having students write about their previous math experiences is a tremendous benefit. Writing can assist math instruction by helping children make sense of mathematics. It also helps teachers understand what the children are thinking and learning.

    Teachers incorporate writing in math class to help students reflect on their learning, deepen their understanding of important concepts by explaining and providing examples of those concepts, and make important connections to real-life applications of the math they are learning.

    Teachers use the writing assignments to assess student understanding of important concepts, student proficiency in explaining and using those concepts and each student’s attitude toward learning mathematics.

    Anyone can learn math

    Math is a subject that is often scary and produces anxiety in students. Writing is just one example of how math can be better understood.

    There are countless resources for teaching math – video tutorials, DVDs, YouTube videos and books — to assist instructors on how to make learning math easier for students.

    A major premise is that a teacher should attempt to tap the processes that are stronger and natural in the learner rather than consistently demanding production from a weaker intelligence.

    Thinking about math differently

    To succeed, teachers must think about common math ideas differently and extend their conceptual abilities in many areas. Math needs to be demystified and writing about it does that.

    Writing allows teachers to lower the intimidation level that math often invokes for a majority of students. This is done by using insightful techniques founded in multi-intelligence strategies that serve as the tools to greatly enrich student understanding and enjoyment of mathematics.

    Taking the stress out of math

    Math anxiety is often defined as a feeling of tension, apprehension, or fear that interferes with math performance. The stress is related to poor math performance on math achievement tests. It is related to negative attitudes about math. And anxiety, scholars say, is directly connected with math avoidance.

    Writing about math is one way in which teachers learn how to get to know their students so as to understand their learning needs as well as if they have math anxiety or not.