Supporting the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics through Mathematics Journals

Supporting the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics through Mathematics Journals

Christie Martin (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA) and Drew Polly (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4086-3.ch017
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Abstract

The Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English/Language Arts necessitate that teachers provide opportunities for their students to write about mathematical concepts in ways that extend beyond simply a summary of how students solve mathematical tasks. This study examined how mathematics journals in a fourth grade classroom supported students’ mathematical experiences and reflected their understanding of concepts. Implications for the use of technology to support mathematics journals are also discussed.
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Theoretical Framework And Literature Review

Theoretical Framework

The research study conducted here is based in a social constructivist framework. Constructivism is a learning theory that suggests an individual constructs meaning and knowledge through their social environment and interaction (Beck & Kosnik, 2006). Constructivist theory stresses the importance of learning being of value for the learner. Writing should be meaningful for children arousing an intrinsic need. Further, writing should be incorporated into a task that is necessary and relevant for life (Vygotsky, 1978). Mathematics lessons are occurring in classrooms each day in the forms of direct instruction, group work, pair activities, and individual work. Each individual learner is constructing meaning from these lessons and assigning their own value and understanding to the concepts presented. Journals will serve to identify the individual’s constructed meanings.

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