1. Madelyn Colonnese
  2. A Task Force on Conceptualizing Elementary Mathematical Writing: Implications for Mathematics Education Stakeholders
  3. http://mathwriting.education.uconn.edu/
  4. University of Connecticut
  1. Tutita Casa
  2. http://education.uconn.edu/tutita-casa/
  3. Assistant Professor
  4. A Task Force on Conceptualizing Elementary Mathematical Writing: Implications for Mathematics Education Stakeholders
  5. http://mathwriting.education.uconn.edu/
  6. University of Connecticut
  1. Janine Firmender
  2. http://www.sju.edu/about-sju/faculty-staff/janine-firmender-phd
  3. Assistant Professor
  4. A Task Force on Conceptualizing Elementary Mathematical Writing: Implications for Mathematics Education Stakeholders
  5. http://mathwriting.education.uconn.edu/
  6. Saint Joseph's University
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Tutita Casa

    Tutita Casa

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2016 | 09:34 a.m.

    How might you engage your students in the four types of elementary mathematical writing and their various purposes?

  • Icon for: Miriam Gates

    Miriam Gates

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2016 | 01:29 p.m.

    A very interesting report. It seems to me that there are strong links to the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice (SMP) in the purposes of mathematical writing (and clearly across the entire video). I’m wondering if any work on the connection between these recommendations and the SMP has been done. If so, can you discuss a few of the connections as you see them?

  • Icon for: Tutita Casa

    Tutita Casa

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2016 | 02:01 p.m.

    Great question! In fact, we relied on several standards documents to inform these recommendations, and the Common Core’s SMP’s were one of them. NCTM’s 1991 Professional Standards that explicitly attended to discourse and their 2000 Communication Standards did as well. None of these contained details specifically pertinent to writing, however. One document that provided more guidance for this work was the CCSS’s 2012 Framework for English Language Proficiency Development Standards Corresponding to the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards that attend to “productive language functions,” which includes communicating in writing.

  • Icon for: E Paul Goldenberg

    E Paul Goldenberg

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2016 | 04:59 p.m.

    I watched the video, downloaded the “Types and Purposes…” pdf and read parts (and skimmed all). I enjoyed both a lot, and found the content of the pdf both thoughtful and useful. What I was looking for (and did /not/ find, but perhaps because I was not careful enough) were comments about the limitations of writing or the limits one might put on its use. For example, does the cognitive load that writing presents (especially for the youngest students) ever compete with, rather than support, students’ attention to the mathematical content or reasoning? If so, how might teachers decide when to use writing and when not to?

  • Icon for: Janine Firmender

    Janine Firmender

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2016 | 08:41 p.m.

    Great question! This would certainly be an important consideration when planning the tasks and approaches to engage students in writing about mathematics. While the current work was focused on the types and purposes of writing about mathematics that could be leveraged to develop and uncover students’ understanding, one way I see to support students’ attention to the mathematical content and reasoning would be to engage them in oral discourse prior to asking them to write about their ideas and helping them make connections between oral and written discourse. Future work could/should focus on the implementation strategies and considerations.

  • Icon for: E Paul Goldenberg

    E Paul Goldenberg

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2016 | 11:37 p.m.

    Thanks. I’d certainly love to hear more as you learn more. I’ve looked, though not intensely, to see what’s already known about the potential “competition” between attention to mathematical ideas and communication about mathematical ideas (orally or in writing) and have found nothing. It seems likely that something about timing matters—communicating our thinking with others clearly does help clarify our thinking in some cases, and writing our thoughts often lets us organize and clarify them, but these cognitively demanding tasks also take up mental time and space and attention. Do you know of any studies (or even theory) here? Again, thanks!

  • Icon for: Tutita Casa

    Tutita Casa

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 06:24 a.m.

    I agree that this is an important consideration for next steps in this work as teachers implement these types of writing. We have developed and field tested curriculum for k-5 students (Project M^3 for grades 3-5, M^2 for k-2) where, on average, students wrote about every 3-4 days. Anecdotally, this seemed to strike a nice balance and potentially provided students the space and time to solidify their understanding of key mathematical concepts through writing. You might find Cohen et al.‘s 2015 article in School Science and Mathematics discussing characteristics of second grader’s writing (M^2 intervention and comparison group) to be of interest. Both high- and low-performing students in the intervention group outperformed their counterparts in the comparison group with respect to sharing their reasoning as well as using precise mathematical vocabulary. While this study did not directly attend to your question about timing, it may suggest that the frequency of writing is a reasonable guideline.

  • Icon for: E Paul Goldenberg

    E Paul Goldenberg

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2016 | 07:16 a.m.

    Ah, thanks. This is, in fact, very helpful. Mostly, in classrooms, I see less focus on discussing reasoning (generally, less student talk) than seems sensible, and very little student writing, but where I’ve seen writing used with any regularity, it has been a daily required activity and not clearly purposed. The work you’ve put up dealt extremely well, I thought, with the purpose and nature of the writing, and now you’ve also clarified at least initial thoughts about timing. Nice!

  • Icon for: Tutita Casa

    Tutita Casa

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 08:44 a.m.

    Thank you! We are hoping that the mathematical writing gets implemented with intention and not for the sake of writing in and of itself. We see writing as a tool that has the potential to further students’ reasoning, much like intentional implementation oral discourse and use of manipulatives, technology, etc. can when used in ways that support a mathematical habit of mind.

  • Icon for: E Paul Goldenberg

    E Paul Goldenberg

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2016 | 10:08 p.m.

    All the best to you. This is great.

  • Icon for: Jorge Solis

    Jorge Solis

    Assistant professor
    May 17, 2016 | 11:24 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing your work here! There are real synergies between literacy and content development. I was wondering what the recommendations say about addressing varied language proficiencies for ELLs in mainstream and/or bilingual programs?

  • Icon for: Tutita Casa

    Tutita Casa

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 11:57 a.m.

    This is the first step we have taken to more clearly define what “mathematical writing” can entail for all elementary students participating in the regular mathematics curriculum. Attending to specific needs of student groups is an important follow up. We considered this long-term goal when identifying potential task force participants, and we have researchers and practitioners represented in the group representing the field of English language learners as well as special and gifted education. The task force also relied on the CCSS’s 2012 Framework for English Language Proficiency Development Standards Corresponding to the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards that you may already know addresses writing in mathematics.

  • Icon for: Courtney Arthur

    Courtney Arthur

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2016 | 04:48 p.m.

    This work shares some interesting findings. I am wondering how the task force was chosen and what recommendations and/or scaffolds are recommended for students who are far below grade level or struggle with their literacy skills?

  • Icon for: Janine Firmender

    Janine Firmender

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 08:05 p.m.

    Some of the supports I would recommend, based on some of our previous work and teaching experience, would be to scaffold the development of students’ mathematical writing. For example, when first engaging students in mathematical writing consider composing a class response with student input or having pairs of students write their ideas on sentence strips to share with the class. Additionally, engaging students in oral discourse related to the task or problem and helping students make connections between the oral and written discourse can be helpful.

  • Icon for: Madelyn Colonnese

    Madelyn Colonnese

    Presenter
    May 18, 2016 | 08:28 a.m.

    Because there has been limited work in mathematical writing, we identified participants for the task force who have experimented in this work across disciplines, in the classroom, or through curriculum and assessment development. We sought to bring together a diverse group of school- and university- based experts to ensure a comprehensive perspective and offer recommendations that would meet the needs of various stakeholder groups and students.

  • Icon for: Jeffrey Barrett

    Jeffrey Barrett

    Professor
    May 19, 2016 | 03:27 p.m.

    Hi,
    I wonder about drawings and diagrams in relation to writing text about mathematics: how do more graphical or spatial images play into the way that students benefit from writing about mathematics? Are these visual and textual approaches mutually supportive ways of communicating and reflecting on mathematics? Also, does it matter whether children are explaining, justifying, or exploring ideas in writing?

  • Icon for: Tutita Casa

    Tutita Casa

    Co-Presenter
    May 20, 2016 | 05:28 a.m.

    Symbolic notation, visual representations (e.g., graphs), and other drawings used by elementary students were considered by the task force. We in part define “mathematical writing” as including written text as well as these other forms of communication, if they are necessary to a students’ particular piece. Individual students may utilize these visual components to support any type of writing.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.