And then I had an idea. My students can write pretty fabulous reader response answers, so I decided to start teaching communicating in math the same way I do communicating in reading.
So this ...
Soon led to this ...
We've been using our colour-coded success criteria in reading all year. We've been building it slowly, adding a new criteria every few weeks - only after the students have mastered the previous ones. My students can identify each criteria in their own work, work together to identify the criteria in their peer's work, and set goals for improvement based on their answers. We write each criteria in a different colour - and that's the colour students use when coding their own answers. It's a pretty beautiful system. :)
A couple of weeks ago I started using the TACK board (Thinking, Application, Communication, and Knowledge/Understanding) for our learning goals and success criteria in math. You can read a little more about it HERE. (I also included a link to download the letters and headers I made). This is what our TACK board looks like after three weeks in. All our lesson learning goals are posted under "K", and a new goal with each new concept we learn. The "T" will build our success criteria for planning for problem-solving, "A" will build our success criteria for problem-solving strategies, and the "C" will build our success criteria for communicating in math. Just like our reading board, I will slowly add success criteria under the "T", "A", and "C" - adding only after we've mastered the content. The sticky notes under the "C" column are math vocabulary words the students should be including in their answers. Students can add a new sticky note each time we introduce a new term.
When I started the board, I wasn't planning on colour-coding our math explanations, so I made the colour of our success criteria under each match the heading. About a week later though, I decided to start colour coding so I added a coloured dot to each of the criteria under the "C" for our coding. The students use the colour of the dot to show where they have used the criteria in answering their questions. And it's working. :)
It's still a work in progress, and will continue to be until the end of the year, but I'm excited about the progress we're making, and I can't wait to see what they'll be able to accomplish by the end of the year.