A teacher's reflection on the implementation of journal writing in mathematics

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Addison, Linda
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 1995
Mathematics is often a challenging subject for students. Historically, mathematics has been a subject in which less written work has been completed than in other content area subjects. Wr i ting can be used in mathematics classes to open additional lines of communication between student and teacher. Writing involves students actively in mathematics. In order to write about a topic, students must be able to reconstruct their knowledge of the topic in a form that is understandable by someone reading the material. Student journals are one form of writing that may offer teachers an additional "tool" for teaching students mathematical concepts and evaluating mathematical knowledge. Students in this project responded in journals over the course of a three week mathematics unit. The students answered free response, summary, comprehension and problem solving questions in their journals. The teacher responded to all student entries and kept a personal journal of the process. The rewards of the project for the teacher included an increased awareness of student comprehension of concepts, feelings and attitudes towards mathematics. Opening another line of communication with the students offered the opportunity to stay in touch with even the most quiet and reserved student. The personal journal offered the teacher a place in which to reflect upon the successes and challenges of teaching mathematics. There were challenges to implementing the program. Time tended to be an obstacle to having students write thoughtful entries in their journals. Assessing student understanding through the student responses was another challenge. In preparing students for the mathematical challenges of the twenty-first century, it is important that teachers use a variety of teaching methods. Journal writing in the mathematics class is one method that appears to offer great potential.
vi, 92 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
School children -- Diaries , Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Elementary)