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Talking Math, Blogging Math

  • Author(s): Mathews, Linda Marie
  • et al.
Abstract

Talking Math, Blogging Math is a curriculum designed to aid middle school Pre- Algebra students' mathematical problem-solving through the use of academic language instruction, explanatory proofs, and online technology (blogging). Talking Math, Blogging Math was implemented over a period of ten weeks during the 2008 - 2009 school year. The school where the curriculum was implemented is a non-traditional classroom-based charter school. The 7th, 8th and 9th grade students attended class twice a week. The goals of the Talking Math, Blogging Math curriculum were to increase use and understanding of mathematical terminology, to facilitate students' use of problem solving by teaching them metacognitive strategies, and to use blog technology to extend the Pre-Algebra community of practice beyond the classroom. The students received direct instruction in academic language related to the mathematical content being studied. Students learned metacognitive strategies in the context of simple two- column and paragraph explanatory proofs. Students communicated with each other on the blog about mathematical concepts covered in class. Methods for evaluating Talking Math, Blogging Math included examination of students' work, blog entries, and interviews. Final analysis of Talking Math, Blogging Math revealed that students used varied metacognitive processes when creating mathematical proofs. These metacognitive processes transferred to their general problem-solving. The findings suggest that the students increased their use and understanding of mathematical vocabulary. In addition, the students created a community of discourse based on the explanatory proofs

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