Friday, November 4, 2011

Math and Literacy (2)

Question: What are some techniques used in math classes that encourage literacy?

“Shares strategies for reading and writing in mathematics instead of just reading and writing about mathematics. The strategies emphasize moving fluently among multiple representations, analyzing mathematical texts,  and evaluating mathematical reasoning. Strategies such as student discussion of the implications of changing words in a theorem or definitions support deep conceptual learning.”  MJ Bosse and J Falconer. (2008). School Science and Mathematics, 8-19.

“Provides a graphic organizer that guides students through a modified version of Polya’s problem-solving process but still allows them to solve a problem in their own way. Its layout requires students to think, plan, and break the solution process into steps of their own choosing before computing. The graphic organizer can be used for any type of problem with no more than a three-step solution. Discusses how to introduce the graphic organizer by using a think aloud, multiple student answers, and analysis of incorrect answers.” S Braselton and B Decker (1994). The Reading Teacher, 276-281,

“Describes how to apply several reading strategies to mathematics instruction. A knowledge rating chart indicates prior knowledge of vocabulary and whether or not the student can apply it in mathematics. ‘Word Problem Roulette’ is a cooperative problem-solving strategy in which students solve a problem verbally and then write the solution in a round-robin style. A sample three-level math problem guide helps with problem analysis, but restricts students to solution methods using the computations or formulas provided in level three. ‘Possible Problems’ requires higher level thinking as students create a math problem using all of the words, symbols, or numerals in a list. Applicable to any math content and to any level.” SJ Davis and R Gerber. (2004). Journal of Reading, 55-57.

“Discusses three types of journal prompts for first-year algebra students: content, process, and affective. The content prompts push students to articulate mathematical relationships and to create personal yet precise definitions. One powerful prompt asks students to write about how their understanding about a mathematical concept has developed or changed. While some suggested process prompts focus on study habits, others have students reflect on their own problem-solving approaches.” BJ Dougherty. (1996). The Mathematics Teacher, 556-560.

Comment: There are many more examples of annotated articles relating mathematics to literacy development in this article.  The authors of this article urge the preparation of annotations for articles related to content in math, science, English, etc. and then publish them in their journals. An interesting idea. RayS.

Title: “Collaborating to Cross the Mathematics-Literacy Divide: An Annotated Bibliography of Literacy Strategies for Mathematics Classrooms.” ES Friedland, et al. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (September 2011), 57-66.

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