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 MA Degree. Department of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. July 2007.


In this action research study of my classroom of 5th grade mathematics students, I investigated their understanding of the mathematical operations by having them write problems to match given equations. I discovered that writing a story to match an equation does provide insight into a student’s understanding of mathematical concepts, however, reading comprehension is a factor in the understanding. Readers who struggle with comprehension do struggle with understanding and writing math story problems. The discussion that follows the writing of a math story problem and the solving of the written problems helps to strengthen the students’ mathematical abilities as well as their communication skills and confidence levels. Through my study, students learned that it was alright to make mistakes because the learning from those mistakes is what is important. As a result of this research, I plan to continue to have students write stories to match given equations as a source of information about student understanding. I will continue to give opportunities to revisit those written problems as a tool to increase students’ comprehension and communication skills, as well as their confidence.