Communications in mathematics
The mathematics classroom is evolving to include more writing and discourse as a means of deepening student understanding of mathematical concepts. Traditionally, math has been taught as a set of procedures that when you plug in the right numbers in to the right equations, you get the right answers. My research in a middle school setting using the Connected Math Project curriculum required students to think more deeply and reflect on their math knowledge to write and discuss mathematical concepts with their classmates. In the process the students were more engaged, took more ownership, and constructed knowledge themselves. Through student observations, samples of writing work, Socratic Seminars, and student surveys and interviews, I discovered most students enjoy and value both writing and discourse. They see themselves as benefiting from both, writing and discourse, gaining better understanding and clarity of thought. Teachers are also able to assess their students understanding more accurately.