Math Writing Prompts: Starters for Successful Summaries


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Sandy Squillace

Writer’s block . . . We have all faced it more often than we would like to admit—that feeling of frustration and failure when we’re staring at a blank piece of paper and the words just won’t come. Our students are just like us. “I don’t know what to write about!” “Where do I start?” Writing is challenging for many students, but writing about math takes it to a whole other level of challenge—especially for those students who feel less than confident about their math abilities. As teachers, we want to continually fill our students’ toolboxes with tools they can use to become better at math.

One component of Math Daily 3 is Math Writing. To help support our students when they’re working on math writing, the following prompts can be glued into their math journals, posted on the math board, or laminated and kept in their math tool kits. Having this tool easily available helps our students get their thoughts and ideas on paper. As a result, they are able to complete the math writing prompts easily, taking the first steps toward being more confident in their math and writing abilities. As they become more confident in their math writing, students can add to the prompts, expanding their explanations and thoughts about math—and becoming confident math writers!

Math Writing Prompts

I think the answer is _______________________ because ______________________________.

A different way to solve this problem is ______________________________________________.

I don’t understand ______________________________________________________________.

The mistakes I most commonly make are ________________ because _______________________.

What I like best is _____________________ because __________________________________.

The most important part of solving this problem is to remember _____________________________.

What I know about ______________________ so far is _________________________________.

I knew my answer was right when ____________________________________________________.

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