At the beginning of the school year I assign "My Life In Math Class' to my
Grade Six Math class. This is a writing assignment in which I require
students to reflect on their Mathematical past. They share their positive
and challenging memories of the math classes of their past years. It gives
me a jumpstart in understanding the skills and background that each of my
students comes with.
For students to reflect on their previous experiences in math for the
purpose of allowing the teacher to understand the strengths and weaknesses
that they come with. For students to reflect on their previous experiences
in math for the purpose of setting goals for the upcoming year.
- problem solving
- goal setting
My assignment for "My Life In Math Class" can be found at:
Teacher and class engage in a discussion regarding how our previous
experiences in Math effect our present success. We talk about positive and
negative memories, different strategies that have helped them problem solve
(such as guess and check, drawing pictures, using charts etc) and their
hopes for the future. I tell students that if some of their memories are
fuzzy they can talk to their parents about incidents that happened in their
earlier grades. I am quite vulnerable with the students as I too share some
of my personal memories- good and bad. I then hand out the assignment sheet
as well as a sheet I call "My Life In Math Class" working paper. This is
the assignment sheet broken down into steps so that the overwhelmed students
will be able to work each part through one step at a time. It also ensures
that the students are clear on what my expectations are of the assignment.
One of the benchmarks is that the final product is "jazzed up". This will
encourage students to present their work in a creative way. We discuss different ways they might do
that. We also discuss how valuable this piece of work is for me as long as
they choose to be vulnerable and give enough detail in their writing.
consider this assignment very useful and worth the time that it takes. I
usually give the students one period to work on it in class and the rest is
for homework. I emphasize that their work will not be up for display so
that they can feel free to share their true feelings.
I made a rubric based on the assignment sheet as a method of assessment.
Lesson Plan Source