## 26 April 2014

### Still Building Better Answers in Math

We are LOVING the color coding while building better answers in our class.  Seriously.  If you have been reading my blog, you know I use this strategy a lot ... and I've sung its praises often here.  I've been building better answers with color coding in reading for over two years, but I've just recently started to color code our math answers, as well.

I actually wrote about color coding our math responses earlier this year (you can see it HERE), but after creating my "Building Better Responses" resources for Math and Reading, I made a few changes to how we code the math.

This is what my TACK wall looks like now.  (You can read more about our TACK wall for math HERE).  We just started a new unit in math (probability), so I've taken down all our learning goals for our last unit, and am just starting again with our new learning goals.  The goals under Communication are now revised, based on our new way of color coding our answers.

If it was earlier in the year, I would have added the goals under communication slowly, but since we are nearing crunch time with testing, I decided to post all the goals and dive right in.  We do spend time discussing each goal and write about the goal in our math notebooks.  This helps the students see the value of each goal.

And you know what - they are getting it!  Each time we work on a problem (even when I don't remind them to) markers and highlighters are popping out all over the room, and they are truly analyzing their answers to make them better.

My Building Better Math Responses  resource contains everything you need to get started with your students.  There is a color coded success criteria goal chart (in both blackboard print and white background), "Good Mathematician" notes and answer sheets for each goal, posters and bookmarks, assessment checklists and rubrics (self, peer, and teacher), and some worksheets to get students started (group, partner, and independent).  You can click HERE to take a peek at the resource - it is really working wonders in my classroom.
You can also take a peek at my Building Better Reading Responses by clicking HERE.  I am loving how the two are working together.

Happy Saturday!  Hope you are enjoying the weekend!

1. I have your Interactive Math Journals resource and love it! Is this the same notebook that your students use for the Building Better Math Responses goal setting etc?

2. I would like to purchase this resource...but first I would like to know if you incorporate it with the interactive math journal notebook, or do the students have a different notebook for this resource? I have trouble with the logistics and organization of things! Thank you for your response!

3. Hi Tracy,
This is separate from their interactive math journal. They only work in their math journals once a week when we add a new concept. This is something they would follow in their everyday math notes, as it's a guide to answering problem-solving types of questions. They write their "good mathematician" notes right in their daily math notebooks, and then they are showing evidence of their learning in their problem-solving answers for daily work. Hope this helps. :)

1. Thank you! I'm energized to give it a try! :)

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5. Do you have just two notebooks for math then Jen, one for the journal and one for daily work? Are they the same type of notebook? Are they both in one binder or separate in their desks?

1. Hi Mike - we have a 1" binder for math. We keep our interactive math journals in it (just a softcover 3-hole notebook), and a smaller math notebook for these notes in one of the front pockets. Our binder has 2 main dividers - one for our current unit work, and one for our daily number talks.