Monday, August 5, 2013

Writing about Math [New Product & Freebie!]

How important is writing in your school?

Last year, I would go so far to say is was THE most important thing in our building. Our principal made it a building wide initiative to integrate quality writing opportunities wherever possible. I already used math journals, reading journals, and of course writing journals, but I never took a grade on anything we put in there. Those were always informal formative assessment that served as learning experiences and practice. The second most important initiative implemented last year was building academic vocabulary in our students. I've always believed in this and have been using strategies based on this since I started teaching, especially in math.

Anyway, I've always informally assessed those two things, but last year, I worked towards really integrating writing into math and using it in assessment. I began developing written assessments. These assessments align to the common core standards and help to address the standards for mathematical practice. I made sure most of the questions were deep, involved higher order thinking, and used vocabulary straight from the standards. In some assessments, I include tools [number lines, circles, models] that I want the students to use, but in others they need to develop their own strategy. I like to include number lines and fraction shapes for the students, because I do not want their inability to draw a straight number line or a perfect circle to get in the way of proving their ultimate understanding of a concept.

I also wanted to include a checklist to make sure that the students were actively thinking about their response. It can be used as a 'rubric' for the students to know what is expected. To get full credit, students are required to use academic vocabulary. In my room, if it is on the math word wall, it is fair game.

Enough chit-chat. Here's my product and an idea of what you'll get!

In the pack, you'll get 66 of these bad boys. There are two for every common core standard. Great for differentiation or to account for personal preference! 

Also included are a cover, strand dividers, and vocabulary recording sheets. If you'd like to bind the prompts in a booklet/journal for your students, these are great additions! Personally, I print them off as I need them, but I know everyone is different! All prompts are in black and white, and the cover and dividers are in color.

These assignments really helped my students with understanding the process of problem solving, as well as using academic vocabulary while explaining that process. Because of that, I'm offering a sizable forever freebie in the preview! If you download the preview, you'll get four prompts for free. That way, you can test it out on your kids and see if it works for you!

Ready to try it out? Click the cover below to find it on TPT!

[It will normally be priced at $8.00, but will be on sale for $6.00 for one day only!]

If you download the preview, come back and let me know what you think!


  1. Wow - that is really neat! Unfortunately, I don't teach math currently, but if I did... :)
    I'm betting you've got LOTS of great ideas to post about - so I'm signing on to follow you! ~Deb
    Crafting Connections

  2. This looks awesome!!! You have been busy!!!


  3. What an absolutely fabulous idea! I love these!!

  4. I really love it!!! It is the piece that brings it all together. Thanks.