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journal writing
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Paper presented at the international conference on education, Redesigning Pedagogy: Research, Policy, Practice, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 2005
Primary school students’ ability to communicate their mathematical understanding is one of the main
objectives in mathematics learning in schools. This study investigates how journal writing can be used to
examine primary students’ perception and their ability to explain their understanding of multiplication and
division based on two case studies. Two journal writing tasks are given respectively to 158 and 36 primary
three students in two Singapore schools. The writing tasks specifically aim to uncover how young students
perceive the learning of division and multiplication. An analysis of students’ writings reveals that the use
of appropriate journal writing prompts gives students the opportunity to explain their understanding and
perception of mathematics learnt. The results from students’ journal writing help teachers to understand
their students’ thinking and take the necessary measures to clarify the mathematical concepts involved in
the topics of multiplication and division. Moreover, students’ writings serve as a source of reflection for
teachers to re-think and improve their instructional strategies. The results suggest that teachers can gather a
lot of information about students’ thinking in their writings and journal writing can be an effective and
alternative way to increase teachers’ understanding of their students learning in mathematics. Given the
appropriate writing prompts, journal writing can be a source for students to reveal to teachers their
understanding of mathematics concepts and learning. Students need more exposure and opportunity to
explain mathematics explicitly and substantially in writing. The researchers believe that through writing,
students will learn to develop and foster higher ability to communicate their mathematical ideas and
Project number: 
CRP 24/03 FLH
Appears in Collections:CRPP - Conference Papers

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