Q&A #1506

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Incorporating writing into the math curriculum

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From: Tom Hibbs

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2000100214:22:46
Subject: Math Folders

When the portfolio ideas were at their peak, I used them as they were suggested: student written title page, student organization, best pieces for the grading period, and written self-evaluation. After a couple of years, it was evident that no more math was being learned, but the portfolios took a tremendous amount of time to evaluate and make meaningful comments. Some teachers' experiences are different. Over the next seven or eight years, having students keep folders, instead of portfolios, has given me the opportunity to keep all assignments, continue to require the student to organize their folders with a given framework, include short problem solving situations which usually include writing (description primarily), and longer projects which always include writing (description, analysis, and conclusions). The students did not keep a journal as part of their folder. The UCSMP series which we used includes some writing, but the classroom assigned problem-solving gave the students the most opportunity.

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