Title

Does Spelling Count? Reflections on Writing in the Mathematics Classroom

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Department

Mathematics

Conference Title

Sacramento Valley Community College Mathematics Conference

Location

Sacramento, CA

Date of Presentation

3-1-2007

Abstract

The written word is scarce in the stereotypical mathematics course, which instead emphasizes the routine solving of problems. But having students explain their solutions in writing can pave the way to more critical mathematical thinking. This talk will examine the use of writing as a tool to learn mathematics. We will reflect on: reasons to incorporate writing in a mathematics class; which courses lend themselves to writing assignments; what types of assignments to use; samples of student work; and whether using writing can actually improve student learning. Depending on the assignments, writing can also incorporate several “Basic Principles” of AMATYC’s Beyond Crossroads, such as Innovation, Inquiry, Relevance, and Assessment.

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