Exploring the Use of Journal Writing in Mathematics Classroom

Zuhairina Suhaimi, Masitah Shahrill, Nor 'Arifahwati Haji Abbas, Khairul Amilin Tengah, Roslinawati Roslan, Norashikin Yusof


This paper focuses on secondary mathematics lessons that integrated journal writing with the use of the writing-to-learn pedagogical strategy. Investigations were conducted on the influence of journal writing on Year 10 secondary students' mathematical performance. It is an action research study that comprised of two cycles and involved 35 students from two classes in a secondary school in Brunei Darussalam. The analyses of the data were extracted from the students' pre- and post-test scores and their journal entries. The findings revealed that even though the students' journal entry score was high, this does not necessarily imply improvements in their mathematical performance. Furthermore, other factors such as classwork and homework given during and after the lessons may have also contributed to the students' mathematical achievements.


journal writing, action research, secondary school mathematics, achievements

Full Text:



Bell, E.S., & Bell, R.N. (1985). Writing and mathematical problem solving: Arguments in favor of synthesis. School Science and Mathematics, 85(3), 210-221.

Bostiga, S.E., Cantin, M.L., Fontana, C.V., & Casa, T.M. (2016). Moving math in the write direction: Reflect and discuss. Teaching Children Mathematics, 22(9), 546-554.

Carter, J.A., & Carter, D.E. (1994). The write equation: Writing in the mathematics classroom. Palo Alto: Dale Seymour Publications.

Cheng, R., & Feyten, C.M. (2015). L2 Students’ academic literacy development guided by teacher written feedback: A writing-to-learn perspective. Studie z aplikované lingvistiky-Studies in Applied Linguistics, 2(6), 7-25.

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007). Research Methods in Education (6th ed.). Madison Avenue, NY: Routledge.

Fraenkel, J.R., & Wallen, N.E. (2010). How to Design and Evaluate Research in Education (7th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Fry, S.W., & Villagomez, A. (2012). Writing to learn: Benefits and limitations. College Teaching, 60(4), 170-175.

Fung, M.G. (2010). Writing in a mathematics class? A quick report on classroom practices at the collegiate level. Currents in Teaching and Learning, 2(2), 22-34.

Harmer, J. (2004). How to teach writing. Essex, England: Pearson Education Limited.

Hübner, S., Nückles, M., & Renkl, A. (2010). Writing learning journals: Instructional support to overcome learning-strategy deficits. Learning and Instruction, 20(1), 18-29.

Khoo, J.S., & Shahrill, M. (2015). Cultivating the use of graphic organiser in secondary mathematics word problems. Paper presented at the 18th International Conference on Education (ICE 2015), “Education in the 21st Century: Present Practices, Future Directions. What’s Next?”, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, 2-4 June 2015.

Khoo, J.S., Shahrill, M., Yusof, N., Chua, G.L.L., & Roslan, R. (2016). Graphic organizer in action: Solving secondary mathematics problems. Journal on Mathematics Education, 7(2), 83-90.

Lim, L., & Pugalee, D.K. (2004). Using journal writing to explore they communicate to learn mathematics and they learn to communicate mathematically. Ontario Action Researcher, 7(2), 17-24.

Lynch, S.D., & Bolyard, J.J. (2012). Putting mathematical discourse in writing. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, 17(8), 486-492.

Molina, C. (2012). The Problem with Math is English: A Language-Focused Approach to Helping All Students Develop a Deeper Understanding of Mathematics. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Nelson, N. (2001). Writing to learn: One theory, two rationales. In P. Tynjala, L. Mason, & K. Lonka (Eds.), Writing as a learning tool (pp. 23-36). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Ohio Wesleyan University (2011). Mathematics Journal Scoring Rubrics. Retrieved from http://education.owu.edu/pdfs/mathematicsprogram/Assessment%208%20-%20NCTM.pdf

Parker, R., & Breyfogle, M.L. (2011). Learning to write about mathematics. Teaching Children’s Mathematics, 18(2), 90-99.

Pugalee, D.K. (2001). Writing, mathematics, and metacognition: Looking for connections through students' work in mathematical problem solving. School Science and Mathematics, 101(5), 236-245.

Pungut, M.H.A., & Shahrill, M. (2014). Students' English language abilities in solving mathematics word problems. Mathematics Education Trends and Research, 1-11.

Sai, F.L., Shahrill, M., Han, S.H., & Tan, A. (2016). Bridging the learning gaps: Embedding the graphic organiser with Polya's problem solving model in examining mathematics word problems. Paper presented at the 3rd International Conference on Teacher Learning and Development (ICTLD 2016), Penang, Malaysia, November 28-30, 2016.

Somekh, B., & Lewin, C. (2005). Research Methods in the Social Sciences. London: Sage Publications Ltd.

Staal, N., & Wells, P.J. (2011). Teaching math is all write. Teaching Children's Mathematics, 18(4), 224-232.

Steele, D.F. (2007). Understanding students' problem-solving knowledge through their writing. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, 13(2), 102-109.

Suhaimi, Z., Shahrill, M., Tengah, K.A., & Abbas, N.A. (2016). Incorporating the use of writing-to-learn strategy in grade 10 mathematics lessons: The students' perspectives. Journal of Mathematics Education at Teachers College, 7(2), 11-20.

Tan, T., & Garces-Bascal, R.M. (2013). The effect of journal writing on mathematics achievement among high-ability students in Singapore. Gifted and Talented International, 28(1-2), 173-184.

Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher mental process. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12928/ijeme.v1i1.5683


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Zuhairina Suhaimi, Masitah Shahrill, Nor 'Arifahwati Abbas, Khairul Amilin Tengah, Roslinawati Roslan, Norashikin Yusof

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

International Journal on Emerging Mathematics Education
Kampus 2 Universitas Ahmad Dahlan
Jalan Pramuka No. 42, Pandeyan, Umbulharjo, Yogyakarta - 55161
Telp. (0274) 563515, ext. 4902; Fax. (0274) 564604
Email: ijeme@uad.ac.id

p-ISSN: 2549-4996 | e-ISSN: 2548-5806

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

View IJEME's Stats