write a mathography

Math Journal – Write a mathography

write a mathography

Have students write a math a mathography; great icebreaker activity and great for working on growth mindset

 

To begin every school year, I have students write a mathography.  I want to learn thier history with math. When I taught my 105 minute daily Algebra block class, they brought a lot of baggage with them to my room every day. Most of them hated math and had a bad experience with learning it.

I spent time working on changing how they viewed math and their ability to learn it. I begin with these questions in paragraph 1:

Paragraph 1: I would like to know more about your history with math and you as a learner.  

  • Give three adjectives to describe math and explain why you chose them.
  • As you look back at your favorite math lesson, what were you doing?
  • Describe a great math class.
  • Describe a great math teacher.
  • How do you like to learn?
  • Is there anything I should know to help you be successful in this class?

When they were writing the paragraph above, I stressed that I didn’t want them to write what they thought I wanted to hear. If they used words such as hate, boring, etc., I wanted them to explain why those were their adjectives.

I used their back story to change their viewpoint on math. My goal by the end of the year was to make the class their favorite subject!

 

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In addition to writing about their history with math, I wanted to learn more about their personal history.

Paragraph 2:  I would like to know more about your family.

  • How many people are in your family?  
  • Do you have any siblings? If yes, how old?
  • Do you have any pets?  If yes, what type and what are their names?
  • What was your favorite family vacation?
  • What are your favorite hobbies?

Paragraph 3:  I would like to know more about your passions.

  • What do you participate in outside of school?
  • What does your family do together for fun?
  • If you could spend time doing anything, what would you choose?

Before they began writing, we created a mapping diagram to help them organize their thoughts. In paragraph 1, we began by generating adjectives about math, then they gave a reason for their thoughts. They used this information to create their sentences for paragraph 1.

I’ve found created graphic organizers helped them write better.

Finally, I had them complete a rubric before they turned in their assignment. I do this with every writing assignment and project. I’ve found I receive higher quality work.

 

Rubric

Began letter with  Dear  Yes No

Paragraph 1:

Addressed each bullet Yes No

Written in complete sentences Yes No

Appropriate grammar/spelling Yes No

 

Paragraph 2:

Addressed each bullet Yes No

Written in complete sentences Yes No

Appropriate grammar/spelling Yes No

 

Paragraph 3:

Addressed each bullet Yes No

Written in complete sentences Yes No

Appropriate grammar/spelling Yes No

 

Each Yes is worth 1 point and each No is worth 0 for a total of 10 points.

 

__________________

Grade out of           /10

 

Grade your paper using the rubric and staple this sheet to the top.

Posted in Active Learning, Active Math, Algebra, Algebra Activities, Math Activity, Math Teaching Idea, Maths, Middle School Math, Secondary Math, Vocabulary, writing in math and tagged , , .

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