Reading and Writing About Mathematics


The topic of the third unit is my favorite by far! Actually looking for mathematics as it appears in real contexts and writing about it as it appears in the world around us.

The 6 Rs of Process Reading is a good explanation of reading for a non-reading/writing teacher, but is a simplified version of the process that readers go through when reading a textbook or high level article. I think the blackline master on page 237 that accompanies the 6 R process is excellent and will recommend it to teachers. It does a good job of getting students to think through what they are reading. [My only editorial comment on the organizer is that I would like to provide the students more scaffolding for the purpose of the reading. Only one line on the organizer is set aside for the objective of the reading.]

The activities on page 111 make good connections between math and science. The celcius-fahrenheit formulas can be used in math classes from grade 6 (using fomulas) to grade 11 (inverse functions, domain, ranges, graphing). The activities on page 112 develop the use of the formula for basic understanding but do not take full advantage of having students think about the full power of the equation.
I think it would be helpful to ask questions like, "How do you compare the domain of celcius from freezing to boiling to fahrenheit?" 'How are the two formulas inverses of each other? and how can you prove they are inverses?" "How does finding the inverse of a formula differ from finding the inverse of a function like f(x)? Why?"

The quote from David Weber's Echoes of Honor could be used to access lots of topics. I started thinking of the calculus applications in the simple statement of "with a decel period of a hundred and thirty-eight minutes." Deceleration is a lower level calculus topic that could be developed from this one paragraph. I like the link between literature and mathematics. I think it is unfortunate for the audience that the Martinez's primary focus is middle school applications because this is yet another great example of a topic that could be developed for high school level writing tasks.