Yesterday we did an incredible job of wrapping up our dream day schedule and writing reasons why you chose the amount of time you did for each subject. One thing that I was particularly impressed by was how great your arguments were for why things needed the amount of time that you had set up. Today we are going to work on connecting our persuasive writing with our math. See, math can be used in all subjects, including our writing!
Today I want you guys to write a persuasive letter to our principal explaining why we should adopt your schedule. You will need to write up your schedule, the elapsed time of each subject or activity, but you will take the reasoning that you used yesterday to defend your choices for elapsed time to persuade her why it would be a great schedule for our school (MP3).
I have included a variety of text samples in this section. When students are completing an activity that is blended with ELA, it's important for me to spend time looking at students work to collect my own data. In this case, I categorized student work into 3 math categories: 1. Did the student complete the necessary sections that were required, 2. Is the math accurate, 3. Did they justify the need for the amount of time they allocated to the subject. Is it reasonable?
I then look at the student samples through an ELA lens and organize student work into 3 categories: 1. Is student using proper conventions (capitalization, punctuation), 2. Does the student use aspects of persuasive writing within their letter, 3. Does the student use voice in their writing
As you can see from my samples, there is a wide variety and various levels of student work. There is a lot of data that can be pulled from an assignment like this, so it is important to spend time looking at the writing.
Today I pull popsicle sticks and allow students to share their writing. Students love the opportunity to share their work and the opportunity to celebrate one another. With popsicle sticks it allows you to call on students who might not normally raise their hand to share and keeps all students involved in the activity when they know they could be called on next.
Sharing in this environment is different than sharing in a turn and talk or partner talk type setting. When students explain their thinking in a formal setting it meets ELA standards as well as mathematical practice standards. It also provides the teacher with thoughtful insight into how students are thinking about, talking about and describing the assignment and their work.