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Disciplinary Literacy in Mathematics

How can educators ensure mathematical literacy in the classroom?

By incorporating reading, writing, speaking, listening, and critical thinking in instruction, educators provide students with opportunities to develop literacy in mathematics instruction. Engaging in a multitude of of critical thinking experiences will allow students to:

  • construct viable arguments through proof and reasoning

  • critique and appreciate the reasoning of others

  • process and apply reasoning from others

  • synthesize ideas and make connections to adjust the original argument

The goal of using literacy skills in mathematics is to foster a deeper conceptual understanding of the mathematics. Educators wonder, what does it mean to build a conceptual understanding of mathematics? Review DPI professional learning modules on the Standards for Mathematical Practice for a better understanding on how to incorporate this in your instruction.



Problem Solving and Perseverance Handout

Problem Solving and Perseverance

Writing is a process of making linguistic choices. Problem solving in mathematics is a process of choosing an appropriate strategy. The writing process can be used to further understand the mathematics and persevere in the problem solving process.

Reasoning and explaining handout

Reasoning and Explaining

Reasoning and explaining mathematical concepts is simply writing or speaking an argument utilizing information from various mathematical texts.



Modeling and Using Tools

Modeling and Using Tools

Mathematical modeling is recognizing and clarifying mathematical structures that are embedded in other contexts, formulating a problem in mathematical terms, using mathematical strategies to reach a solution, and interpreting the solution in the context of the original problem. Mathematical modeling can be view as reading or interpreting  “mathematical text”.

Generalizing and Seeing Structure Handout

Generalizing and Seeing Structure

Text structures refer to the way authors organize information in text. Recognizing mathematical structures is critical to understanding general mathematical concepts and extending those concepts to gain further insight into the vast realms of mathematical.