journal writing, discourse, problem solving, sociomathematical norms, heuristic instruction, mathematical explanations and justifications
There are two purposes to this study. The first was for me, as a teacher, to try something new in my instruction and grow from it. The second purpose of this study focused on the students. I wanted to see what level of performance in problem solving my students are at currently, and how the use of journaling and discourse affected the students' problem solving abilities. A problem-solving unit was taught heuristically in order to introduce students to the various strategies that could be used in problem solving. Math journals were also used for problem solving and reflection. Classroom discourse in discussion of problem solving situations was used as a means of identifying strategies used to solve the problem. Explanations and justifications were then used in writing and discourse to support students' solution and methods. An analytic problem-solving rubric was used to score the problems solved by the students. These scores, along with explanations and justifications, and discourse were used as data and analyzed for common themes. The results of this study demonstrate overall improvement in student performance in problem solving. Heuristic instruction the students received on strategies in problem solving helped to improve their ability to not only select an appropriate strategy, but also implement it. This unit, along with the problem solving prompts solved in the journals, helped to improve the students' performance in explanations. It was discourse combined with all the previous instruction that finally improved student performance in justification.
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Master of Education (M.Ed.)
College of Education
Teaching and Learning Principles
K-8 Math and Science
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Wittcop, Melissa, "The Effects Of Problem Solving Strategy Instruction, Journal Writing And Discourse On 6th Grade Advanced Mathematics Student Per" (2008). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3666.