Reading and writing in math class helps to build, solidify, and deepen students' understanding of math concepts. In this post I share a few examples that I hope will spark your own ideas.
Writing frames support all math students in constructing short responses. These writing frames from science can be adapted to math. Here are 3 samples! These samples are simplistic but great for teaching the structure of writing short responses!
Here are some specific examples of algebra 2 topics:
Rational functions, What is the horizontal asymptote of this function? Show this on the graph. What does this value represent in terms of the problem posed? Considering the problem, why does your value for the horizontal asymptote make sense?
Exponential unit: You have a rich Uncle that gives you $5000 to invest. You have researched two different banks to see which you want to use to help you make the most money. Describe when it would be better to choose MK Federal Credit Union and when it would be better to choose MCB National.
Square root unit: Does doubling the length of the skid double the speed the driver was going? Justify your response using tables, symbols, and graphs.
Project idea: Read an article about mathematics or a mathematician in the New York Times (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/science/topics/mathematics/). Create a mini-poster that illustrates the article. Include a “3-Part Source Integration” writing. A “3-Part Source Integration” is a three-sentence statement that includes the text's title, author’s name, author information, source material that is either paraphrased or directly quoted, and a brief statement explaining the significance of the paraphrase or quotation.
Past examples of students' writing ... a blog post.
I find that these short writing opportunities provide windows into students' thinking. How do you use short writing prompts?
In the article "Advanced Math? Write!" the author stresses starting small. She emphasizes journal writing. I have not tried journal writing with 150 students. Even when I had considerably fewer students, I found keeping up with responses to journals challenging. How could I begin journaling with students without feeling overwhelmed?