Highlights from The Write Stuff: Writing in the Math Classroom

Hello Math Colleagues,

I wanted to share a few highlights from last week's live event, The Write Stuff: Writing in the Math Classroom that the LINCS Reading/Writing and Math groups did.

Brooke Istas explained how to use math metaphors to get students writing in a math class. With a math metaphor, we compare math to something. If math were an animal, what would it be and why? If math were a car, what would it be and why?

Journaling about math, especially for students experiencing math anxiety, is also an effective practice. Use journal prompts like: 

  • Explain how you feel when you begin a math learning experience
  •  One secret I have about math is 
  •   When I become better at math, I can 
  •  My best experience with math was when
  •  My worst experience with math was when
  •  Describe how it feels if you have to show your work on the board
  •  One math activity that I really enjoyed was

Having students write their own definitions for math vocabulary allows them to develop a deeper understanding of the concept and create their own meaning. Student definitions could be placed on word walls around an in person or virtual classroom.

One way to determine whether students know the math or not is to have them respond to the following prompt: Lizelena was gone from class today when we learned about how to figure mean, median, and mode. Please explain what we learned to Lizelena. 

  • In what ways do you use writing when you are teaching math, science, or social studies?

Thanks for your responses,

Steve Schmidt, Moderator

LINCS Reading and Writing Group