Back-to-School Issue: September 2007

Featured Topic:   Writing in Math Class

Teachers incorporate writing in math class to help students reflect on their learning, deepen their understanding of important concepts by explaining and providing examples of those concepts, and make important connections to real-life applications of the math they are learning.   Teachers use the writing assignments to assess student understanding of important concepts, student proficiency in explaining and using those concepts and each student's attitude toward learning mathematics.   Writing in mathematics is a win-win for both teacher and student.   Although it may be difficult to introduce this practice, it is well worth the effort.   Look for simple ways to incorporate short writings throughout daily lessons and longer writings over the course of weeks or math units.

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Back-to-School Activities

This new collection includes back-to-school glyphs, math-literature connections, problem solving activities and morning routines. Find some new activities for those first weeks of school.

Active Participation: Using Math Templates

Math templates and whiteboards also encourage students to write in math class. Students may be asked to write the answer, show their solution method, define and illustrate a math vocabulary term, extend a pattern, etc.

The use of whiteboards and templates in sheet protectors allows students to quickly respond to questions, work out problems, etc.   Teachers who use these assessment tools are able to easily assess student understanding throughout the lesson and adjust instruction, as needed, to meet identified student needs.

Organizational suggestions:

Check out these resources for some new routines to add to your repertoire of effective strategies.

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About is designed to provide activities and appropriate worksheets for teachers to use in their classrooms.   All activities and worksheets support the constructivist approach to learning mathematics and the NCTM Standards.

Activities:   The activities on this site were developed by Terry Kawas and the teachers in districts where she has worked as a math consultant and coach or with students she has taught in college math-methods courses.   The activities are classroom-tested by teachers and appropriate modifications have been made to reflect this field-testing.   These activities are posted online in an effort to share quality activities and routines within the mathematics community.

Terms of Use:   Teachers are welcome to download any of the activities for free use in their classrooms.   No activities may be copied for use on other websites or included in commercial products without permission in writing from Terry Kawas, webmaster.   Contact Terry Kawas