The paths to "Eureka" moments: Teaching Mathematics in Secondary Education

Writing and Math?

Public writing is most definitely a valuable skill that all students should gain through their academic career. There are countless ways in which this type of writing is used later on in life. In a mathematics class however, I question the logic of incorporating larger pieces of writing and thereby reducing the amount of academic learning time spent on content specific activities. While some writing projects such as research papers can create an opportunity for students to dive deeper into content, teachers must take care to balance written communication, the learning that takes place in writing, and time spent on tedious papers.

There are several take-aways from Chapter 6 of Content-Area Writing, which, regardless of the writing assignment (public and/or long in length) I feel should be taught extensively throughout all content areas. The main take-away is to implement supportive writing by providing answers to the questions: “Why are we doing this?”, “How do you actually write this stuff?”, “What if I make a mistake or get confused?”. In answering these questions, teachers not only teach specific content and how to demonstrate their skills, they also motivate students, and create an environment conducive to learning. In this way, teachers centralize their teaching around the students.

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