Reflection: Writing Across the Disciplines Explaining Our Equations and Writing about Arrays - Section 2: Introduction to New Material


In this lesson, I use a criteria for success  to help guide students' responses and reasoning. This criteria for success (or checklist) allows students to formulate concise explanations without missing important components of a response.  I have found that explicitly teaching students how to write about their mathematical thinking leads to not only improved writing but also more clear mathematical understanding.  

Mathematical Practice Standard 2 expects students to reason both abstractly and quantitatively. Encouraging students to write about their thinking pushes students to think more abstractly about the mathematical concepts.  Writing about these concepts helps students further internalize their mathematical content knowledge and is a good test of whether a student has a good conceptual understanding of a skill--students who lack a conceptual understanding struggle to write about their thinking in clear terms.  Thus, encouraging students to explain their thinking using writing increases the rigor of the lesson and pushes students to more abstractly understand and explain the mathematical concepts that we are studying.  

Using a criteria for success is a useful scaffold for students as they learn to become better writers and mathematical thinkers. 

  Criteria for success
  Writing Across the Disciplines: Criteria for success
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Explaining Our Equations and Writing about Arrays

Unit 2: Arrays
Lesson 5 of 7

Objective: SWBAT explain why two different number sentences both describe an array

Big Idea: Students work to use words to explain why multiple number sentences all describe an array. Students use a criteria for success to help craft an "excellent mathematical equation"

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Math, Number Sense and Operations, Operations , repeated addition, multiplication, arrays, models
  40 minutes
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