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Topic: Writing in the Mathematics Classroom
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Michelle Manes

Posts: 8
Registered: 12/3/04
Writing in the Mathematics Classroom
Posted: Jul 1, 1993 10:26 AM
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I'm just going to do a quick repost here of my article from
geometry.institutes. My article was a follow-up to a few
other articles, but the discussion probably now belongs in
pre-college. Anyone interested should check out the first
few articles in the geometry.institutes under the "Writing:
Joan Countryman's talk" thread.

Boy I loved her talk too.
I was turned off at first because she made some sweeping
generalization about how when she presents to writers they
are scared that she might make them do math, and when she
presents to math teachers they're scared she might make them
write. Personally, I am a math teacher, a curriculum developer,
and some day I hope to be a mathematician. I also write in a
journal, I write poetry, I write short stories, and I love reading.
These kinds of stereotypes -- that we all somehow have "a field"
and are terrified of anyone else's "field" -- upset me greatly.
I'm happy to say, though, that she redeemed herself. I'm personally
looking forward to incorporating writing both into my teaching
and into the Connected Geometry curriculum.

In article <20sjph$> Claire Groden, writes:
> The arguement for people at the ET-MITT project ( a middle school teacher
> enhancement project) has been: Do you tell kids the language they're going to
> need to talk about the stuff they're going to learn or do you set up a
> situation where they will need the language and only give it to them then?
> I am on the "setting up a situation" side and I think writing can be a
> catalyst for the search for that language.
> So what I'd really like to add to Joan's list of "what to look for in kids'
> writing is:
> 5 construct mathematical language.

This has been a big issue over at EDC too. On our Connected Geometry
curriculum we have outlined what we call "Big Ideas" and "Habits of Mind"
which we hope to develop in students (see the thread on "What are the
Big Ideas..."). One of them is "making definitions" and another is
"developing language and communicating."


Michelle Manes email after this week:
Geometry Forum Workshop for more information about Connected
Geometry, email or
call (617) 969-7100 x458

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