Master of Natural Sciences (MNS)


Natural Sciences (Interdepartmental Program)

Document Type



The newly released Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were adopted with the goal in mind that in the future our students will leave high school ready and better prepared for college and careers. In particular, the CCSS insists that a faithful implementation of the eight Standard of Mathematical Practices will lead to a generation of mathematical thinkers who have learned how to read, write, model, reason, and solve problems in mathematical terms. Unfortunately, at present, my students and others do not know how to write and reason mathematically. By way of this thesis, I searched for ways to help forty-five students in my Geometry classes improve their mathematical writing and reading skills by adding structured journal writing. In this thesis, the work of three of the forty-five students was analyzed on the basis of three journal entries. Students A, B, and C’s work showed that there was obvious change and growth in writing abilities, how they explained their reasoning, and how correct it was. All forty-five students completed a survey about their experiences with the journals and Geometry as a whole. The students, as seen in the survey responses, understood what the journals were designed to do and many of them saw the benefit of having a writing template. Within the same year I implemented the journals, our school’s score on the Geometry End-of-Course test increased by fourteen percent from the previous year. Overall, though it cannot be said this is strong enough to stand alone and defend the template, it does show that three students, who represent a class of forty-five, with varying levels of understanding have all improved their mathematical writing and reasoning abilities. I do believe that this template should be tested to further solidify its effectiveness and that the success I had with my class on the End-of-Course test, due to the structured emphasis on writing and reasoning, can be replicated with ease.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Neubrander, Frank