Reflection: Writing Across the Disciplines Pizza, Hot Chocolate and Newton's Law of Cooling: Adding Constants to Exponential Functions - Section 2: Explicit Instruction and Active Note-Taking


Reading and writing are two areas of focus that I think make my math classroom unique. I try to provide students with many opportunities to learn how to organize their ideas and write about mathematics. 

Active note-taking is another way that I try and integrate the ELA Common Core standards in my math classroom. At my school, the Freshman House (PLC of freshmen teachers) consistently teach students to take notes in two-column note format. Here are two examples of student notes from today's lesson on Newton's Law of Cooling: Notes: Newtons Law CoolingNotes: Hot Chocolate Cooling Example.

For this particular lesson, notes are especially important because of the level of complexity of the content (Newton's Law of Cooling) for an Algebra I class. 

Explicit instruction around note-taking can help students become better note-takers and, more importantly, better learners. My overarching objective is to teach students to learn how to learn. The mathematics are crucially important, and I firmly believe that teaching writing skills will help improve access and understanding of the math for my students. 

  Writing Across the Disciplines: ELA Common Core Standards and Writing in the Math Classroom
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Pizza, Hot Chocolate and Newton's Law of Cooling: Adding Constants to Exponential Functions

Unit 5: Exponential Functions
Lesson 5 of 10

Objective: SWBAT interpret and apply Newton's Law of Cooling as an exponential function. SWBAT combine standard exponential functions using arithmetic. SWBAT paraphrase complex arguments.

Big Idea: Students investigate applications of Newton's Law of Cooling and create their own exponential functions modeling other contexts.

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