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Creative Writing in the Math Classroom

Mrs. McQuaid’s Grade Eleven Math Classes (521A)

Charlottetown Rural High School

Welcome to our web page and thank you for visiting. This page was designed to share some of the creative writing assignments that we have done in our grade 11 math class this year. So far, we have done three writing assignments: a personal autobiography, a short research paper on a historical figure in mathematics, and a math adventure.

In this page you will find a link to each of the different assignments. The link will contain the assignment, as given to students, as well as a variety of samples of student work. All students in my classes were required to do the assignments. However, samples for this page were submitted on a voluntary basis. Teachers may feel free to use the assignments in their own classes if they wish.

The personal autobiography assignment was designed to get students thinking about their own math experiences to this point and to evaluate what their own math needs are now and for the future. I was impressed with the seriousness with which students approached the assignment and the effort they put into it. The assignments deal with personal experiences and I ensured students that their names would not be attached. On the day I gave the assignment I read the students my own math autobiography to give them an idea of what I was looking for. It was a great way for students to get to know a little about me and by reading their assignments I learned a lot about them.

The mathematician assignment basically required students to do a little research and find out about some of the people that played important roles in the history of mathematics. The assignments were meant to be short and to the point. The students did a great job and expressed interest in finding out about some of the figures in history.

The Mathematical Adventure Assignment was a response to a film we watched called "Donald Duck in Mathemagic Land." The film, which has Donald Duck as the main character, explores math in the world around us, looking at music, art, nature, and more. I asked the students to come up with their own math adventure to explain something about mathematics. They took the assignment by storm. I had many students modify assignments to create comic strips, videos, and poetry. I was extremely impressed with the quality of material that they created.

Each of these assignments were given in the hope of encouraging an appreciation for mathematics outside of the basic textbook and curriculum. It is my hope that the assignments helped to foster a positive attitude towards math as it exists in our world. Assessment for each of the assignments was based on how well the criteria, as outlined in the assignment, was met. I tried to allow as much creativity as possible and keep the assignments light and fun.

I hope you enjoy reading these assignments as much as I did and that you appreciate the creativity of the students that wrote them. Should you have any questions feel free to contacts me.

Carolyn McQuaid

First Year Teacher, Charlottetown Rural High School

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