As of late, I have really had a hard time convincing the students and myself of the importance of writing in math. Through all of my schooling and now the PLCs, I have come to realize something about myself... I HATE to write. There is no joy for me when I am asked to write. I don't write lists. I don't write lengthy letters. My texts are very short If you have ever received an email from me you know that I just get to the point. I agonize going to the PLCs that I know will involve me writing a little piece in my writer's journal.
I have spent a lot of time this month thinking about the students that are like me. I love word problems. I love when the word problems are rigorous and force me to think about how to solve them. I love using math to solve word problems. The answers don't always "pop in my head" like the fortunate students I mentioned in my last blog. But I can relate to those learners because I would rather say that I just know the answer than have to sit and write a bunch of sentences about how I got my answer. My struggle this month is the writing component to math. Do we take the fun out of math when we force students to write about their thinking and have them free write during math time? In their high school Algebra class will they have to write major pieces about the process they went through or will they just have to show what x equals?