tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-16660456.post5417896789881322090..comments2023-01-27T08:42:47.273-07:00Comments on The Fischbowl: Transparent Algebra: WritingKarl Fischhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11121548023409279686noreply@blogger.comBlogger13125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-16660456.post-63269224035382605422010-08-13T10:53:27.896-06:002010-08-13T10:53:27.896-06:00Thanks for posting your plans and rationale for yo...Thanks for posting your plans and rationale for your algebra class. I've struggled in the past with getting kids to write in math, but as I'm starting in a new school in the fall, I'm going to make the attempt again. I like some of the other comments here as well -- things like double-entry journals, etc. I have a book sitting in my new classroom on writing in math -- too bad it's not here with me as I grab a final few days of camping before going back to work...<br /><br />I plan to beg, borrow, and steal ideas wherever I find them, and one of those is the course syllabus you posted earlier this summer. I really liked the section you had on expectations, and I'd like to adapt what you've done to the middle school math classes I'll be teaching in the fall. If you don't mind...Lee Vartyhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/17458048114049971816noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-16660456.post-61590751601382276712010-08-12T13:37:18.399-06:002010-08-12T13:37:18.399-06:00I was intrigued by your post about writing in math...I was intrigued by your post about writing in math class. It seems so elemental, yet so few of us do it. Although the ideas of personal learning reflection are a wonderful idea to get students writing (B. Russek had some great reflection ideas - http://wac.colostate.edu/journal/vol9/russek.pdf), I think that also being able to communicate math with words is important for comprehension and cognitive development. What if students were paired and had to write to one another about math...a pen pal of sorts. Maybe from one class to another? But the ability to communicate algebraic relationships into words, and then putting those words on paper (or electronically) could have a huge impact. Groups of students could have wikis or blogs to communicate about math with one another if you wanted to save a tree or two. The possibilities are endless.Anonymoushttps://www.blogger.com/profile/02106632308423398721noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-16660456.post-60390529098379344032010-08-04T01:05:50.681-06:002010-08-04T01:05:50.681-06:00Great topic!
I really enjoyed what Bill Lombard a...Great topic!<br /><br />I really enjoyed what Bill Lombard aka Mr. L had to say about it in his book http://www.tttpress.com/store/books_language.html.<br /><br />I agree that it is difficult to make writing in mathematics not seem contrived. Thankfully, I have a wonderful humanities team teacher who has helped me to understand and implement what I want to impart. Truly it is trying to bring out the inner math geek in each of my students.<br /><br />Sometimes I ask my students to reflect upon what they are struggling with or put it into context of a scenario of helping someone else. <br /><br />I enjoyed working through Alice in Wonderland with my students and talking about all of the mathematical ideas and concepts Carroll placed throughout the text. Since the movie was so fresh in their minds it was easy to grab their interest with it.<br /><br />I also enjoy the Exeter Problems (http://exeter.edu/academics/84_9408.aspx) and the Drexel Problem of the Week (http://mathforum.org/pow/productinfo.html). These are more open ended questions that have challenged all of my students to propose ideas to one another.<br /><br />My final suggestions are the Fermi Problems (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_problem) and the Lateral Thinking Puzzle Books (search Amazon). While these may not directly be tied into the curriculum, they are challenging and cause a lot of critical thinking and fun. Even Kakuro is a ton of fun with some critical thinking and reinforcement of middle school math.<br /><br />After reading your blog for so many years, I don't believe your intention is to just get them writing about the joys of the quadratic equation but to have them enjoying the thinking and reasoning. I am with you on that, and I look forward to hearing more.<br /><br />www.brokenairplane.com (Ed Blog)Phil Wagnerhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/08938707552495871086noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-16660456.post-65022728968602739232010-07-30T10:50:19.906-06:002010-07-30T10:50:19.906-06:00I appreciate the cross-curricular message you'...I appreciate the cross-curricular message you're communicating to your students and also the value you're placing on writing, particularly meta-cognitive pieces. That is how you teach students to understand the why which you expressed a personal struggle with as you're asking them to stop doing and think about what they're doing, an exercise we don't practice enough as we try to "cover" the content. I love the emphasis you're placing on knowing them too. Before class has even started, you are creating a culture that values each individual. Having said that, stop making the rest of us look bad. :)lgaffneyhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/02664526771850226095noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-16660456.post-41720227417481132852010-07-28T10:36:33.693-06:002010-07-28T10:36:33.693-06:00Karl,
The Algebra book is part of a High Set. The...Karl,<br /><br />The Algebra book is part of a High Set. They have an elementary and middle school sets. I am not a math teacher, but the content looked appropriate for high school, especially when compared to the the others.Kelly Paulinghttps://www.blogger.com/profile/15365219041717657359noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-16660456.post-43764841186196925742010-07-28T08:54:46.691-06:002010-07-28T08:54:46.691-06:00BOC - Robert Frost? What does he know about writin...<b>BOC</b> - Robert Frost? What does he know about writing? :-)<br /><br />Yeah, that's what I'm struggling with. How to make writing about math "real" as opposed to "schooly."Karl Fischhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/11121548023409279686noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-16660456.post-77344060118259906372010-07-28T08:52:22.867-06:002010-07-28T08:52:22.867-06:00Jackie Ballarini - Thanks for sharing that. Have y...<b>Jackie Ballarini</b> - Thanks for sharing that. Have you thought of throwing all those prompts into a document (or wiki) and posting them somewhere? Hint.Karl Fischhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/11121548023409279686noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-16660456.post-40226985182331994012010-07-28T08:51:24.355-06:002010-07-28T08:51:24.355-06:00Kelly Pauling - Thanks for the links. Have you use...<b>Kelly Pauling</b> - Thanks for the links. Have you used the Algebra Write to Know book? I'm just wondering what level it's written for. Sometimes books says "Algebra" but they're really about algebraic thinking in younger grades. Which is great, but not necessarily what I'm looking for.Karl Fischhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/11121548023409279686noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-16660456.post-68262266956613321962010-07-28T08:40:16.677-06:002010-07-28T08:40:16.677-06:00To learn to write is to learn to think, Robert Fro...To learn to write is to learn to think, Robert Frost said.<br /><br />I love the idea of having students write/reflect on their learning in math (or any other subject (though we ought to think about other ways of doing the same, especially when dealing with students from non-literary traditions, or oral cultures.) My math teacher at my previous school had a "Math is Real" writing program, which met moderate success. the lesson learned was that the writing had to be authentic. See Angela Maiers comments on authentic writing referenced here http://bit.ly/c6IaaGBOChttps://www.blogger.com/profile/13882196590735215956noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-16660456.post-6292420312691592122010-07-28T07:26:17.734-06:002010-07-28T07:26:17.734-06:00Most of my writing assignments are shorter. A type...Most of my writing assignments are shorter. A type of "focused free write". I give them 5 to 7 minutes to write about a specific topic. Examples include: compare/contrast the two different methods we saw for solving the last problem (used after students share their work), explain how the graph relates to the table relates to the equation, write everything you know about solving a quadratic.<br /><br />Sometimes I collect what they've written, not for a grade, but for me to see their thought process/level of understanding. Sometimes I then share the summarized results with the class the next day. Other times I have them share their thoughts in their small groups, then have each group share a summary to the whole class. Other times it is just for themselves.<br /><br />I don't think I did enough of this last year. Thank you for reminding me!Jackie Ballarinihttps://www.blogger.com/profile/16859831037023994373noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-16660456.post-20230089516071450602010-07-28T06:25:15.010-06:002010-07-28T06:25:15.010-06:00Karl,
I commend you for embedding writing into th...Karl,<br /><br />I commend you for embedding writing into the Algebra classroom. Writing is a critical skill and it helps all of us think at deeper levels. A resource I recommend to teachers I work with is the Write to Know series. It is inexpensive - $9.95/book I think and has writing prompts already developed. They have one specifically for Algebra - http://208.112.23.23/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=CFPAE&Product_Code=WTKA&Category_Code=<br />and for other content areas as well.<br /><br />Another resourse is the Write Now video prompts. These were developed by our local PBS station -- they have a variety of content areas. http://kellyscurriculumcorner.blogspot.com/2009/08/write-now-video-prompts.html<br /><br />Also Discovery Education has a large number of writing prompts ready for teachers. However, teachers can also create their own prompts.<br /><br />Happy Writing!Kelly Paulinghttps://www.blogger.com/profile/15365219041717657359noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-16660456.post-75966520744567136762010-07-27T19:58:28.227-06:002010-07-27T19:58:28.227-06:00Ben Bleckley - Too funny, that book is currently s...<b>Ben Bleckley</b> - Too funny, that book is currently sitting on my dresser, waiting to be read. I'll look for that example. Thanks.Karl Fischhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/11121548023409279686noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-16660456.post-18814780496375625432010-07-27T17:58:18.627-06:002010-07-27T17:58:18.627-06:00Karl,
I don't teach math, but I was in a book...Karl,<br /><br />I don't teach math, but I was in a book club reading <i>Content Area Writing</i> by Steven Zemelmann, Harvey Daniels, and Nancy Steineke. It was a great resource overall, but it also contained the best example of writing in math I think I've ever seen.<br /><br />They suggested having students do a double entry journal for math problems, where their math (numbers, equations, pictures) are on one side, and their thought process was on the other. I've always thought of double entry journals in reading as a written think aloud; this is a written think aloud for math.<br /><br />It sounds like you're doing some amazing things with this course. What a great opportunity for you and your students.Ben Bleckleyhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/09892315418393442374noreply@blogger.com