Using Vocabulary and Writing Strategies to Enhance Math Learning, Grades 1 and 2

Online Course

Course Objective/Goals

Writing is a powerful tool that increases students’ understanding of mathematical concepts, enables them to process and communicate their mathematical thinking, and helps teachers effectively assess learning. This video-based online learning course takes you inside real classrooms where first and second grade teachers demonstrate numerous ways to create language-rich math learning environments that engage young students in thinking, talking and writing as crucial components of primary-level math instruction.   

The purpose of this course is to show how to lay a foundation for “writing to learn” in mathematics by developing primary students’ analytical thinking skills, increasing their math vocabulary, and engaging them in a variety of developmentally appropriate writing tasks. You will be able to use these highly effective techniques to create powerful math learning opportunities for your first and second grade students.

You will learn how to:

  • Make optimal use of questions to promote thinking, reasoning and problem solving
  • Increase first and second graders’ ability to articulate mathematical thinking
  • Scaffold primary students’ math learning through teacher-led modeling and demonstrations
  • Incorporate vocabulary activities that strengthen students’ use and understanding of math language and skills
  • Create a low risk/high success environment that engages every student in math learning
  • Help primary-age children use graphic organizers, including charts, graphs and Venn diagrams
  • Engage students in simple writing tasks that result in more productive learning
  • Develop students’ abilities to organize, represent and communicate their mathematical thinking through writing
  • Create math centers that provide engaging opportunities for first and second graders to use oral and written language as they practice skills and reinforce concepts

Watch an excerpt from this course:

How This On Demand Course Works

Optional Graduate Credit

EDDU 9436


"Developing math discourse and writing in math is something I have struggled with accomplishing. This course has given me some tools as a place to start. I really like seeing the tools put into action in the video clips. I am excited to try the strategies out this fall in my classroom."
              - J. McElhinny

"I liked seeing the teacher model the strategy in the demonstration. The course gave me some good ideas on how I can improve on what I'm doing in the class. The course made clear the importance of incorporating writing which  encourage more active participation and increased engagement on student part."
              - L. Burke

"I found this format to be easy to use. The video clips showed me how to use the skills/concepts presented in the classroom with students. The printouts at the end of each module are very supportive. The note taking guide helped me to organize my thoughts as I was watching each video."
              - D. Harris

"Thanks for the resources - can't wait to implement. "
              - M. Carson

"I have found this seminar to be very inspiring for useful  purposeful and simple activities to embed vocabulary into my math curriculum. I especially want to use math journals. "
              - L. Ingle


System Requirements