Don’t let writing in math intimidate you. I confess that this area is my weakest, but I was able to find a few ideas that worked well.
A fairly easy way to get started is to use the acronym QSR. This stands for Question, Solve, and Answer. To break this down even more, let’s examine each step.
Question: Have your child restate the question using complete sentences. If the problem was 2+2, the question would be – What is the solution/answer to the problem of 2+2?
Solve: Your child will write down her steps, the operations used, and the strategies required to get an answer. It could look something like – I solved the problem of 2+2 by adding. First I wrote 2+2 and added the numbers together. 2 and 2 makes 4. If I wanted to, I could also use tally marks and add them together. l l + l l = l l l l.
Answer: Last, your child will write the answer using complete sentences. The answer may be as simple as – The solution to the problem of 2 + 2 equals 4 because when I added the two number together, I got 4.
This is a fairly simple answer to a simple problem, but if you use it every time, it will work on much more complicated problems too.
Hints to help with math journals
- Let them write their own story problems. Not only will they be writing, but you will be able to see how they find solutions, which will help catch problems before they become habits.
- Always model this first. Read articles about what writing about math can look like.
- Keep it short. Start with a sentence.
- Choose a time each day when they write about math in their journals. They can write about what confuses them. As they write, it often helps them become more familiar with the math process.
I will be adding videos often, and links that should make including writing into math a bit easier.
I hope this has been helpful. If you have any comments or suggestions I would be happy to hear them. Just leave your comments below.