How does Writing Help Students Learn Math?

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Check Out the New Blog HowDoesWritingHelpStudentsLearnMathWriting is an important way to help students reflect on their learning and forces students to really reflect on their math understanding. It is also a great way for teachers to assess student thinking and understanding. Since writing in the context of math is often a new experience for students, they may find it difficult to do in the beginning. By having students “practice” sharing their thoughts with a partner first and then sample writing, students will feel more prepared when they do put pencil to paper.

A great place to practice writing is in a math journal. Journal writing works well because it keeps all the writing in one place and learning can be seen over time, especially if students date each of their entries. A good time to ask students to write about what they learned and what they are confused about is during the last few minutes of class. In the beginning, it’s important to respond to what students write. This lets them know that you are actually reading and reflecting on their writing. Your thoughtful responses are a great motivator and help build mathematical confidence.

A great first entry for upper elementary and older students is to have them write about their feelings toward math and the experiences, good and bad, that they’ve had. A sort of mathematical autobiography.

You’ll gain personal insight into each one of your students’ attitudes. This can be significant when it comes to providing the right type of motivation, encouragement, and direction. Understanding your students at this level is also a great way to begin building positive teacher-student relationships.

Discuss here: What are some creative ways Journal writing can be used in the classroom?

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