Writing that encourages students to articulate their understanding of math concepts or explain math ideas helps deepen students' mathematical understanding. Tasks, such as writing about how they solved a problem or writing about what it means to prove something, help students get a concrete handle on the logic of their ideas, supporting their Reasoning skills.
Watch how this fourth grade teacher uses writing as part of her students' problem-solving procedure. In using "I have to" and "I will" statements as templates, the students become aware of the goals and strategies they use and practice communicating them clearly. This helps them become more organized with their thoughts, thus strengthening their Algebraic Thinking.