This semester I have been surprised by the literacy levels of my students. They are able to memorize new vocabulary words and definitions pretty well. In a geometry class everyday there are new words to decode and remember. Whether they actually understand the meaning is hard to say, but for purposes of remembering a term for an exam, they have done well at that. When given literacy assignments, I noticed that the students were not able to communicate their cognitive thinking procedures regarding a mathematical problem very well. They used simple sentences that were full of grammatical errors, and they did not try to elaborate much. This was a bit shocking to me because I know that these students are high achievers so my expectations of them were rather high.
Journal January 30, 2013
My literacy-rich classroom has a library of books and magazines that are math related one such book is Math Talk. I am requiring that the students find whatever interested them in these books, and have them share their findings with the class. This will be part of an ongoing literacy activity throughout the year. Another aspect that makes my classroom literacy-rich is that the students keep a journal of daily quick-writes, on how they are going to work effective that day, how they are going to approach the day’s problem or activity, and at the end of the day they will reflect on their actions/procedures. This keeps them engaged in the moment.
Journal December 15, 2013
My literacy-rich classroom’s library has grown and students have contributed to the collection. My students are engaged in collaborating and finding ways to help each other understand content by talking and sharing their problem solving strategies.
Journal May 30, 2014
My literacy-rich classroom has portrayals of student work all over the room that have come from their readings of math related articles and texts. The students are engaged in keeping up their daily journals and reflecting on how they have grown as mathematician by looking back at where they started in their journal as opposed to where they are now. My students are capable of independent learning in the following areas: self-assessment/reflection to bring forth growth, and mathematical connections to real-world issues by reading mathematical publications and scholarly journals.