Reading and writing are the basis of the original meaning of literacy. This definition, however, changed over time and culture. The term has expanded to include computer literacy, digital literacy, information literacy, health literacy, etc. (Vacca, Vacca, & Mraz, 2011). Nevertheless, the most important change to the term literacy is expanding the use of reading and writing. Literacy is defined as understanding, thinking and practicing the use of language in different cultural/social settings through the use of all types of media which allows people to communicate and make meanings (Vacca et al., 2011). To support this new meaning of literacy, specifically in the classroom, a new method or strategy has emerged called “write to learn.” This method describes short and informal writing tasks that help students make connections to previous knowledge, and allow them to represent their knowledge of specific content areas through writing (Vacca et al., 2011). These activities can be used in any content class to further improve students’ learning.
Importance of “Write to Learn”
The use of the “write to learn” strategy is very important in content subjects, specifically mathematics. First, this strategy allows teachers to comprehend students’ thought process, their understanding of the material and what areas might need re-explaining (Vacca et al., 2011). These activities give teachers a look at their students’ understanding and it allows them to prepare lessons accordingly in order to address problems students may have or even reward students for their understanding. Second, these activities allow students to clarify their learning and they engage students in the lessons (Vacca et al., 2011). Through these...
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...rite to learn” method is very influential and useful in content classrooms, specifically in mathematics. Students can use a variety of “write to learn” activities, such as admit/exit slips, academic journals, biopoems, or unsent letters to demonstrate their knowledge of the subject as well as research and investigate their learning. These activities can even be used in a context of a sociocultural theory lesson. The two theories/methods complement each other as they share the same idea of allowing students to demonstrate their learning and further investigate their learning process and understanding.
Ormrod, J. E. (2011). Educational psychology: Developing learners (7th ed.). Upper Saddle
River, NJ: Pearson
Vacca, R. T., Vacca, J. L., & Mraz, M. (2011). Content area reading: Literacy and learning across the curriculum (10th ed.). Boston: Pearson.
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