**Algebra Out Loud: Learning Mathematics Through Reading and Writing Activities**

Pat Mower, Ph.D.

Publisher: Jossey-Bass 2003

**Brief Description:**

The author, Pat Mower, has written a helpful resource filled with many ideas to incorporate reading and writing activities in Algebra courses. These activities are suitable for secondary and college level classrooms. Teachers and professors will find examples and lessons to improve their students reading habits, and understanding of math. I believe students’ retention of math concepts will increase too due to the engaging nature of the activities.

**Table of Contents**

**Part One – Reading to Learn Algebra**

**1. Prereading Strategies and Activities**

Prelude

Review / Preview Process

Knowledge Ratings

Anticipation Guides

PreP

Problem-Solving Prep

Wordsmithing

**2. Reading and Vocabulary-Building Strategies and Activities**

Prelude

Magic Square Activity

Concept Circles

K-W-L

Semantic Feature Analysis

Graphic Organizers

Reading Math Symbols

Proof Reading

**3. Postreading Strategies and Activities**

Prelude

Group Speak

Concept Cards

Frayer Model

Question-Answer Relationship (QAR)

Comparison and Contrast Matrix

**4. Readings in Algebra**

Prelude

The Secret Society of Pythagoreans - An Ancient Cult

Ancient Egyptian Multiplication

Marathon Math

True Prime

**Part Two - Writing to Learn Algebra**

**5. Writing to Understand Algebra**

Prelude

In Your Own Words – A Paraphrasing Activity

MO (Method of Operation)

Graph Description Activity

Crib Sheets

Math Story Activity

Math Ads

The Writing Is On the Wall

Creating a Math Mnemonic

Creation of Written Problems (or Fat Men in Pink Leotards)

Math Concept Paragraphs

Math Biographies

Experimenting–to –Learn–Algebra Reports

Concept Math

Learning Logs

**6. Writing to Communicate Algebra**

Prelude

Writing Across Campus

Group Exposition

Guided Math Poetry

Math Profiling

Math Journals

Mathematical Investigator

**7. Writing as Authentic Assessment**

Prelude

Muddiest Point

Math Analogies

One Minute Summary

Math is a Four-Letter Word

E-Writing

Math Similes, Metaphors, and Analogies

Targeted Problem–Solving Assessments

Self-Portrait as a Learner of Algebra

,b>8. Writing for Assessment

Prelude

Math Portfolios

Math Essays

Write Questions

Math Posters

References

**Features I Like:**

* I like the numerous varieties of ideas.

*The author extends permission for individual classroom teachers to reproduce math activities. Of course, permission is not given to an entire school system.

*Three subheadings are included for each activity:

1. What? Description

2. Why? Objectives

3. How? Example

**To Be Desired:**

I desire to have this book on my bookshelf as soon as possible!

**Comments**

Prior to reading this book, I have used some of the above activities in my classroom with good success. For example, the Muddiest Point gave students the opportunity to write on an index card what objectives were still confusing to them at the end of a lesson. As a result, I was able to review those topics in my next lesson.

*In Algebra Out Loud*, the author has provided a worksheet for students to use. Secondly, I have required students to write an explanation on how to solve a particular type of problem without worrying about grammar and so on. The

*One-Minute Summary*gives details for this activity.

In conclusion, I highly recommend Algebra Out Loud – Learning Mathematics Through Reading and Writing Activities. I look forward to using more of the activities in my math class.