This writing prompt encourages the students to think about how they approach mathematical arguments with others. To open the period, I show the class a funny video clip from the 1950's Ma and Pa Kettle show.
In the clip, Ma and Pa Kettle argue with their son Billy about how to divide 25% between 5 people in the family. While Ma and Pa repeatedly insist that 5 times 5 is 14 (and show it in a number of incorrect ways), Billy works to get Ma and Pa to see that 5 times 5 is really 25.
After watching the video, the students might be wondering where in the world we are going with this. Although it might be hidden to them, what we are getting at is a reflection on MP3 - constructing arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others.
This lesson idea came from a lesson coach who referred me to a Robert Kaplinsky's blog. Mr. Kaplinsky does an excellent job in dissecting the "content" vs "language" objectives in the math practice standards. Also, if you are looking for a good SWBAT for a lesson, there are some great starting points on this site!
Attached you will find a video narrative outlining my approach to coaching a student who struggles with is writing. This particular student has an IEP with significant writing goals. Just because I am the student's math teacher does not mean that I am exempt from teaching the him this valuable skill. In fact, the student actually enjoys math and writing in my class might actually be more attractive to him than writing in a regular english
The student's work has also been attached as a resource to help you get a feel for where I am coming from with this particular student.