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Supportive Writing Assignments for Less Skilled Writers in the Mathematics Classroom

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Chapter Summary

Writing competence is, in addition to reading skills, one of the key competencies in a highly literate society, and its teaching is one of the central tasks of any school curriculum. In German schools, in research, and in public discourse, writing is mainly a matter for the German classroom. This chapter briefly outlines our understanding of writing competence and describes different functions of writing in the mathematics classroom. It looks at the role of writing and writing assignments in mathematics from three perspectives: curriculum requirements, teachers' attitudes, and students' difficulties. These insights reveal a strong need to define demands for writing assignments that support all students, but particularly support less skilled writers. On this basis, the chapter proposes criteria for designing supportive writing assignments (SWAs). Eventually it gives examples of SWAs and evaluates their impact on learning math and math related language.

Keywords: curriculum requirements; German schools; highly literate society; math related language; mathematics classroom; supportive writing assignments (SWAs); writing competence



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