Throughout the Connected Mathematics curriculum,
students are required to solve problems and defend their solutions.
Writing clear and concise arguments is a skill that students practice
on a daily basis. Most of the investigations require students to both
solve the problem and explain their reasoning. Their written
explanations may refer to calculations, tables, or graphs that they
create or they may describe their solution in a step by step list.
Teachers in this program encourage students to read their solutions
out loud enabling them to hear whether their writing makes good sense
or needs further clarification.
How can this Language Arts connection be further
enhanced? Students might gain a sense of the importance of their
Mathematical communications if they were written in conjunction with
a Language Arts assignment. For example, a Language Arts teacher
might assign a problem that asks students to explain to another
student a method for changing fractions to decimals. In another case,
a Language Arts teacher might develop an interdisciplinary lesson
with a Mathematics teacher in which a letter is written to convince
an advertiser to place a radio ad based on given survey
data.

### Unit Projects

In addition to the daily writing activities that
go along with investigations, most of the units include a unit
project that students work on independently. These projects usually
have a specific task but a allow students the freedom to choose how
they want to present their findings.

In the unit project for the book *Prime Time*
students are given the option of writing a story, composing a poem,
creating a poster, or finding some other way to highlight a special
number.

In *Shapes and Designs* the unit project has
students collect drawings, photos, and clippings that show examples
of shapes being used in the world around them. They use these images
to create a book, poster, story, report, mobile, movie, or slide
show.

The unit project for *Covering and
Surrounding* is to design a park to be placed on a piece of
donated land. The park needs to meet specific geometrical
requirements. Along with the drawing, students write a report and a
letter explaining why their design should be chosen.

As with the Quakertown School District's
assessment rubric and the PSSA assessments, a written explanation has
become an essential part of a student's solution to a given problem.
Communicating accurately and convincingly is crucial to demonstrating
understanding in Mathematics.

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