Writing, reading, and talking mathematics: one interdisciplinary possibility

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Reading Teacher


Volume 48

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The writers describe some of their work with fifth-grade students as they write, solve, and share mathematics story problems. They draw two ideas from whole-language theory: the assumption that language activity in school ought to be as meaningful and purposeful as it is outside school and the notion that teachers and students should collaborate in the content and direction of curriculum. The instructional process involves the teacher identifying a curricular topic, organizing relevant instructional experiences, and helping students to identify pertinent real-life situations. The students may use writing, discussion, or drawing while they are exploring a topic, and they are ready to generate coherent mathematics story problems when they have adequate background knowledge. After they have worked to solve their problems, the students share problems and solutions, revise them on the basis of feedback, and finally publish their problems on worksheets, in anthologies, or in other formal ways.

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