There’s a lot we can learn about teaching math skills from language arts teachers. For example, think about how we build writing fluency and grammar skills in language arts. Among other things, we certainly do these:

  • Explicitly teach important skills and rules.
  • Provide students with “mentor texts” and many examples of excellent prose to read and analyze; students who read a lot also write better.
  • Ask students to review and correct examples which contain errors; this is often done in a “daily edit” format.

In math, most of our instruction traditionally focuses on the explicit teaching of math skills and rules, so we have that one down cold. Mathematical mentor texts are also used, though not as frequently, when we model solutions for students and share examples of worked problems.…

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