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 2008.


This action research study of my 8th grade classroom investigated the use of mathematical communication, through oral homework presentations and written journals entries, and its impact on conceptual understanding of mathematics. This change in expectation and its impact on students’ attitudes towards mathematics was also investigated. Challenging my students to communicate mathematics both orally and in writing deepened the students’ understanding of the mathematics. Levels of understanding deepened when a variety of instructional methods were presented and discussed where students could comprehend the ideas that best suited their learning styles. Increased understanding occurred through probing questions causing students to reflect on their learning and reevaluate their reasoning. This transpired when students were expected to write more than one draft to math journals. By making students aware of their understanding through communicating orally and in writing, students realized that true understanding did not come from mere homework completion, but from evaluating and assessing their own and other’s ideas and reasoning. I discovered that when students were challenged to communicate their reasoning both orally and in writing, students enjoyed math more and thought math was more fun. As a result of this research, I will continue to require students to communicate their thinking and reasoning both orally and in writing.