Communication about ideas and understandings help students clarify concepts and justify thinking. Writing is another tool to help students learn and understand mathematical concepts and problems. Writing "forces" students to think deeply about the problem and the process used to solve the problem. Teachers and students can use writing as a "window" about their level of understanding or as a form of assessment.
Journal writing will be a part of every TEAMS program. Journals can be a spiral pad, composition book, loose-leaf notebook paper, or pupil or teacher made journals. The journal topic is presented by the studio teacher. The classroom teacher can modify the writing assignment, but writing should be done at the end of every program. Learning logs are also used in TEAMS mathematics programs. These logs encourage students to list vocabulary and questions they have related to the activity, then to record their understanding as they explore and investigate concepts.
Writing as a part of mathematics instruction is important because:
Burns, Marilyn. Writing in Math Class. Math Solutions Publications, 1995.
Rectanus, Cheryl. Math by All Means, Geometry Grade 3, . Sausalito, CA,: Math Solutions Publication, 1994.
TERC. Beyond Arithmetic, Changing Mathematics in the Elementary Classroom. Mokros, Jan, Russell, Susan Jo & Economopoulos, Karen. Dale Seymour Publications, 1995.