Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge Prep for CCSS Assessments: Explaining Estimation in Writing Part 1 - Section 5: The Task: We Plan Our Writing First


As I taught this lesson, I realized just how low most of my students are in planning. I am certain that most 4th graders across the nation are just as uncomfortable about planning well.

This lesson slows students down and makes them think about how to get things lined up in order to write well. The writing standard hooks math right in and I know that this is the first step to getting them to write well. In the many books I have read about writing, I know that planning is essential, so feeling guilty about taking an entire math session to only get through planning needs to just go away! The planning part will help them later on in their test taking. I expected some students to rush through, and they did. The student in the film is one of my top math students, but will rush through anything that has to do with language skills. Teaching the standard of fluency in both rounding, estimation and using multi-digit standard algorithms should become easier because writing makes them internalize it.

As I saw the examples coming in to me, I realized I needed to adjust my wording to get them to include the why in their writing. As soon as I gave them the sentence structure, the plan came around. The boy in the movie had to go back a third time and work it out. 

It took time. I had an aide work with my lowest student. I am thinking I need to create a better graphic organizer for my lower students. Perhaps a grid with the list of cardinal words, and then sentence starters will help.

Part 2 will be interesting! I wonder if it will take the whole period?  After the first draft is written, we will leave it in their writing portfolios to edit later. I am looking for clarity in planning and explanation for now.

  Linking Standards Across the Curriculum
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Linking Standards Across the Curriculum
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Prep for CCSS Assessments: Explaining Estimation in Writing Part 1

Unit 11: Place Value
Lesson 11 of 14

Objective: SWBAT show understanding of place value through writing about rounding and estimation.

Big Idea: Integration of Math and Writing: Students will plan a thorough explanation of how they solved a subtraction problem involving estimation as they prepare for CCSS tests.

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