Writing in Mathematics

Madelyn Colonnese, Reading & Elementary Education, UNC Charlotte

Lev Vygotsky (1986) noted that writing, “enhances the intellectuality of the child’s actions. It brings awareness to speech” (p. 183). In mathematics class, students are often asked to verbally explain their thinking. How can writing be used to bring awareness to this speech?

Writing in mathematics class has long been called for; however, the characteristics and purposes have remained unclear. This CTI Seminar will explore how writing can be used to encourage students to communicate and reason mathematically. To engage in this exploration, Fellows will participate in activities such as, reading and discussing various pieces written by mathematicians, analyzing the ways writing can be leveraged to support the learning of mathematics content, and examining the ways to use the language of mathematics to express mathematical ideas. While this seminar will focus on elementary-level mathematics content, teachers of all grade-levels are encouraged to join and identify ways to apply the ideas shared.