The Delphi Academy of Boston program focuses immensely on literacy in many forms of learning. Incorporating literacy in different subjects, such as math, improves comprehension and increases the ability of the student to understand how their work can be applicable to the world around them. Many students are taught how to get a right answer in math, but few are taught how to explain their thinking while working through a problem. A great approach to this is math journaling. Math journaling allows students to make sense of the numbers in front of them.

To deepen a student’s understanding of a concept, writing about their mathematical thinking is a great way to do so. If a student can write about the steps they used during a problem and understand the reasoning behind their answer, then they are understanding the concept of math. A student that can explain what 5×8 means will be able to solve 35×67 later on since they demonstrate that they understand the concept, not just merely knowledge of a fact.

When a student can write out the steps they used during the problem and explain why the answer makes sense, they have demonstrated that they understand the math concept. There is a difference between just solving the problem, and then also providing an explanation on why that is the answer to the problem. This understanding will allow students to apply their skill to real-world application and more elaborate problems.

Having your students complete a math journal or including a writing portion with the problems in mathematics will increase the rate of comprehension at an earlier stage in the process.