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Writing to Describe...in math


Full Member
We are doing a lesson on writing to describe in math. Our state tests require kids to do a lot of writing and be extremely specific about math questions, so I was wondering if anyone knew any great lessons that would really stick with the kids. Thanks!


Senior Member
Reflections in Math.

I also teach grade 5 . If you are using one of the deconstructional math programs(ex. Investigations,etc.) After each group activity , in their math notebooks my kiddos write about the strategies they used and which ones woked best. Then as a large group we look at some of the best strategies so each student has a "bag of tricks". I also have them write out how they solve each problem on a task sheet. Just work isn't enough; a written explination must follow. Hope that helps.


Full Member
Math Lab Booklets

Our students (3rd) do math lab booklets each week. There is a word problem and the kids have to solve and do the following.

Draw a picture, write a math problem, write sentences explaining how they got the answer with specific steps included and label the answer. We grade this on a rubric that we teach to the kids. It helps with the state testing.:)


Senior Member
performance assessments

We use Harcourt math series for our entire district. I have been using the performance assessments to help students learn how to describe their thinking processes. Many times my students make careless errors, but their thinking and planning was correct. The assessments ask for the correct answers, but really focus on students writing the steps or describing how they arrived at an answer. So far, they have been successful. The first few however were a nightmare because students are not familiar with them.