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MATH WRITING PROMPTS

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Prompt no. 1

Affective/Attitudinal (How do you feel?)

Mathematical Content (What is about?)

Process (Explain how!)

Explain how you feel about The most important part The difference mathematics now as compared of solving a problem between... and ... is... to before you took this class. is... Write instructions for a fifth grader to follow when (adding fractions, finding percentages, calculating averages, etc.) Find something that you learned today that is similar to something you already knew. Write about these similarities.

2

My best kept secret about math is...

I think a ... is... (I thought a ... was...)

3

If math could be a color (shape, sound), it would be...because...

How would you describe a ...?

4

I want to become better at math so that I...

Do you use tables or What patterns do you diagrams when solving a notice in ... problem? Why or why not?

5

You know several ways to.... (solve an equation, How do you use ... in factor a quadratic, add People who are good at math... your life? fractions, etc.) Which method is your favorite? Why? Make a list of objects My best experience with math or figures in the room was when... which have ... How can you tell? My worst experience with math was when... Write your own definition of a ... How important is being neat and organized to you in general, and when you are doing math? When I study for a test, I... Write a letter to your teacher explaining what you do understand about

6

7 8

When it comes to math, I find Explain how ... it difficult to...

the topic, and what needs to be clarified. 9 When I hear someone say math is fun, I... Draw a picture of a mathematician and describe what a mathematician does. Write all you know about ... When I read a math textbook, and see a word I don't know, I...

10

How many squares are there on a chess The key idea of the board? Describe your lesson today was... strategy for solving this problem. Describe the mathematics seen in a When I see a word problem, the first thing I photograph. do is...Then I... (Photograph may need to be provided).

11

If I were better at math, I would...

12

What kind of math figure are Write and solve a What are the benefits of you? (Circle, square, triangle, word problem whose journal writing for parallelogram, etc.) Why did solution involves ... mathematics classes? you choose that figure? Describe your feelings about showing your work on the board or overhead. How could journal Find a shortcut for ... writing be changed to be more effective? When you get a test back, do you make corrections or ask questions? Why or why not? How do I read my math textbook?

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14

Does mathematics or math class scare you in any way? My three personal goals for this term are... Describe how today's math class will affect your day.

Explain the ...

15 16

Describe practical uses for ...

Describe any Compare and contrast computational procedure the terms ... that you invented. How should we use class time to the best advantage?

17

What did you like most about Explain everything your previous math class? you know about ... What did you like the least? My math grade now is ...because... This is how I feel about Algebra (Pre-algebra, Percents, Fractions, etc.)

18

Write an explanation Write possible test about the differences questions for this unit. between ... and ... How many What is the most dimensions does a significant thing you pencil have? Explain learned this week?

19

your answer. 20 One mathematics activity I really enjoy is...because... What questions are still Why can't you divide unanswered at the end of by zero? this week? Explain how you can How can you find a improve your number with thirteen communication and factors? cooperation in the mathematics classroom. Describe any discoveries you make about mathematics (patterns, relationships, procedures, etc.). Describe the process you undertook to solve this problem. (Problem needs to be provided.) Write WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY, and HOW across the top of your page. Answer these questions based on today's class. Describe the graph of...as if you were explaining it to a friend over the phone.

21

This is how I used math this week (outside of school)...

22

Draw a cartoon of the 'Math Monster' and write what the 'Math Monster' is saying to you.

What is a ...? Write all you can about ...

23

Write a letter to a student who will be taking this class next How do you simplify...? year, giving some advice about this class. Design two mathematical bumper stickers, one funny, one serious. Why do we need proofs in mathematics?

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Why is it My parents feel that math is... necessary...?

AND YET SOME MORE:

Type: Personal essay. Length: 1 - 2 pages. This assignment is simply a personal essay, one to two

pages, in which you will address the following: Discuss frankly your own attitude towards mathematics. If your attitude is negative, can you identify at what point in your life you became unhappy with mathematics, and why? What might have been done differently in your educational upbringing to enhance your appreciation of mathematics, or at least to make less likely the growth of a negative attitude towards it?

Type: Biographical Sketch. Length: 3 pages minimum, 5 maximum, plus works cited page. For this

assignment, you will write a biographical/professional sketch of one of these mathematicians: Isaac Newton, Gottfried Leibniz, or Leonhard Euler. in addition to a (brief) sketch of the biographical details of the life of the man you choose to write about, I am most concerned to see an exposition of some of the math this person created, its importance in calculus, and by extension its importance in describing and understanding the world. Required

references: two (minimum).

The Math Interview

The goal of this assignment is for you to discover where, when and how math is used around you and by people who are familiar to you. Choose an individual to interview. This person can be a family member, neighbor or friend. Tell the person what the goal of your interview is. Interview the person according to the questions below. Review your notes and ask any follow-up questions. THE INTERVIEW: I interviewed:_______________________________ 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. What do you do for work (or are you at home)? Do you have a job title? What are your duties and responsibilities? How do you use math at your job? How do you use math at home? Why do you think math is important in everyday life? Follow-up questions . . .

Various Essay Topics:

1. A friend has asked your advice about which math course would be most helpful in everyday life. 2. Think about the times you have actually used mathematics you have learned in school in your daily life and decide which course had the most practical value. 3. Now explain to your friend how a particular math course will be of practical assistance to him. 4. Convince your friend that it is important to learn decimals. 5. Persuade a classmate to use a certain method to solve a problem. 6. Convince your friend that mathematics is interesting.

7. Convince your math teacher to teach more graphing. 8. Persuade your math teacher to set aside one day a month for math games. 9. Persuade your friend to memorize the steps of a problem solving strategy.

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