Yesterday the students worked on solving equations. This was all review, except for the new concept of DECIMALS being involved. For homework I had the students solve four basic decimal equations on one column, and on the other, give a detailed, written description of the steps they used to solve that particular equation. I’m a big believer in writing in math. If anyone can write (or talk) and explain about the math they are doing, they show a greater understanding.

We put their writing to the test today, when I had a volunteer READ their written out steps and another volunteer WRITE the math steps, just based on what was read. All turned out well (for the most part!). I’m pleased with the improvement I have seen in solving these one-step equations. They have seen this again and again, and it is now finally sinking in and hopefully the reasoning of “why” we do the steps is understood with more clarity!

I also had the students work on quiz corrections for homework. So many careless mistakes! I wanted them to identify these mistakes and tell me (in writing) what they did wrong. It is so important for them to look back at their work, and find those errors. I plan to use this “Quiz Correction” form more often. It allows them identify the mistakes, talk about it, and hopefully learn from it.

Class time was spent working on a review/study guide.

## About Gretchen Simmerson

Middle School math teacher living in Austin, Texas.

I feel your pain! My standard classes will be starting decimals as integers next week. Not only will I have to monitor for carelessness, some of the kiddos will need a review of the integer rules.

Exactly! Hope it goes well.

Ms. Klatte,

Writing in Math is a Brilliant concept. My daughter told me the other day she “gets it” and is enjoying your class. Thank you for your dedication to your profession.

Hallie’s Dad