Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in a 30 min webinar on 3 ways to increase writing in the math classroom put on by Triumph learning and it featured Alex Kajitani. The three ways were awesome and showed me ways to improve working on vocabulary and expressing their mathematical thinking. I am so glad I went. Since the new standards are more rigerous and require students to explain their thinking,
I had a great time today in that I had all my classes come up with a list of 4 sets of homophones where one word is math oriented and one is regular. The students came up with some great ones such as (add, ad), (eight, ate), (one, won) (two, to, too) etc. I got this idea from the webinar and it was fun to try. I am thinking of looking at other ways to integrate this idea.
Another one is remembering to have students use a non-example with the example on vocabulary words. I would like to use the Frayer model but I have not been willing to use it due to the amount of paper it requires. Then today, I realized I can make a copy of it and set it up in my wiki or in another place so students could download it onto the iPad, fill out the graphic organizer and upload it to their folder. This way I can have students actually do the vocabulary words and do them electronically.
I read something today about the fact that each group of students who arrive in school are different than the previous group in regard to the amount of technological knowledge they have as digital natives. This is causing us to change our teaching methods to meet their needs and to keep them engaged.
It is a challenge to increase writing within the math classroom, integrate effective technology and try to keep up with my students. Over all, it is worth it and I am enjoying.