Math in the Middle Institute Partnership


Date of this Version



Math in the Middle Institute Partnership, Action Research Project Report, In partial fulfillment of the MAT Degree. Department of Mathematics. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. July 2009.


In this action research study of my seventh grade mathematics classroom, I investigated what written communication within the mathematics classroom would look like. I increased vocabulary instruction of specific mathematical terms for my students to use in their writing. I also looked at what I would have to do differently in my teaching in order for my students to be successful in their writing. Although my students said that using writing to explain mathematics helped them to better understand the math, my research revealed that student writing did not necessarily translate to improved scores. After direct instruction and practice on math vocabulary, my students did use the vocabulary words more often in their writing; however, my students used the words more like they would in spelling sentences rather than to show what it meant and how it can be applied within their written explanation in math. In my teaching, I discovered I tried many different strategies to help my students be successful. I was very deliberate in my language and usage of vocabulary words and also in my explanations of various math concepts. As a result of this research, I plan to continue having my students use writing to communicate within the mathematics classroom. I will keep using some of the strategies I found successful. I also will be very deliberate in using vocabulary words and stress the use of vocabulary words with my students in the future.