Math Proficiency and Writing in Math Class: Scaffolding Whole Class and Guided Math Group Activities Part III

Posted on January 26, 2011. Filed under: Assessment, Elementary math, Guided math, Math is a Language, Mathematical Proficiency | Tags: , , , , , , , |


This is Part 3 of a series of posts about framing writing in math class in terms of the 5 elements of mathematical proficiency.  In this post we will look at question types for Procedural Fluency and Strategic Competence.  Be sure to see Part I.

Procedural Fluency

In these types of prompts, students simply are explaining the procedure, the how to, the way…

  • How do we  _____?
  • What are the steps for solving this problem?
  • Why can’t I _______?
  • Tell me how to ___________?
  • When you _________, watch out for ________.

Strategic Competence:

In these types of prompts students are discussing the use of efficient strategies.

  • Explain your  strategy.
  • How did you solve this problem?  What strategy did you use and why?
  • In what way can we?
  • Explain two ways to solve this problem.
  • Explain a fast way to solve this problem.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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One Response to “Math Proficiency and Writing in Math Class: Scaffolding Whole Class and Guided Math Group Activities Part III”

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Hi Dr. Nicki,

Teachers are going to be very pleased to know they are probably including writing in their math lessons, but you have linked two important components of a balanced math lesson. Here’s my question The state tests are fast approaching. Although our district continues with curriculum, there is review for targeted areas, such as measurement, estimation, and the integrated open-ended problems. Can these prompts be used effectively within this test preparation? I want the math writing to be purposeful, not just something for students to do. These prompts are focused and kid-friendly. Thanks.


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