History


Help on query formulation
Journaling: out with the old. (English)
Math. Teach. Middle Sch. 19, No. 3, 180-183 (2013).
From the text: Writing in mathematics can have many uses, but one of the most important is for teachers to assess student thinking. Analyzing writing helps reveal to teachers the gaps in students’ understanding. Many students struggle with word problems and other math homework. Their struggles can vary from not understanding what is being asked to not knowing which mathematical strategy or formula to apply to the problem. Writing can become a problem-solving tool to address such problems. Students can rewrite problems in their own words or break them down into parts. Students can then write about the process of solving while they are solving the problem. This form of writing becomes reflective as students reread their entries; this writing also helps students gain deeper mathematical understanding. Writing about and reflecting on word problems allow students to connect to previously learned concepts and facilitate the act of finding and correcting their own mistakes. The most important fact about this type of writing is that there is always something to write about. If the student does not know how to answer the problem, he or she can still write about what is known (the given information), what needs to be known (what the question is asking), and what information is needed to solve the problem (how the given information is used). In my classroom, a weekly journal question is used to promote writing. The types of questions given to students are compiled from many different sources, such as NCTM’s Problem to Ponder, logic problems from Penny Publications, KenKen puzzles, sudoku puzzles, and others.
Classification: D53 C53 E43 C33
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