The Mathematical Habits of Mind call for students to make sense of problems (MHM1), construct viable arguments (MHM3), and model with mathematics (MHM4). Students are expected to communicate their understanding of mathematical concepts, receive feedback, and progress to deeper understanding.  Ashlock (1998, 66) concludes that when students communicate their mathematical learning through discussions and writing, they are able to “relate the everyday language of their world to math language and to math symbols.” Van de Walle (2007, 86) adds that the process of writing enhances the thinking process by requiring students to collect and organize their ideas. Furthermore, as an assessment tool, student writing “provides a unique window to students’ thoughts and the way a student is thinking about an idea.”

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Ashlock, Robert B. 1998. Error Patterns in Computation. 7th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.

Burden, Paul R., and David M. Byrd. 2009. Methods for Effective Teaching: Meeting the Needs of All Students. 5th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.