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“Mathematicians actually spend a great deal of time writing. If a mathematician wants to contribute to the greater body of mathematical knowledge, she must be able communicate her ideas in a way which is comprehensible to others.” Lee, 2014, pg. 1

Why should our students be different from the mathematicians Lee (2014) refers to in the quote above? Learning mathematics requires a confluence of spoken, written and mathematically abstract languages. After all, who thinks entirely in mathematical symbols? No one, except a few mathematical thinkers who are live in the abstract worlds they construct. Thinking about mathematics in the language we speak is one way to learn. Therefore, it is natural to have students write about mathematics to learn the content and deal with the emotions that often arise when studying what many find to be a challenging, abstract subject.


Department of Mathematics


First published in Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics Journal, v. 40 (2014), pp. 12-15, published by Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics

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UNI ScholarWorks, University of Northern Iowa, Rod Library

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© 2014 Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The copyright holder has granted permission for posting.

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