This week has been "WIDA Mania" at my school, as we work to get all of our 150ish students tested using WIDA's English language proficiency test, called ACCESS. I hate that testing takes me out of the classroom, but after dealing with Michigan's English language proficiency test for the past few years, I am ever so grateful for a quality instrument like the ACCESS. I mean, color pictures IN the test! YES!

Since testing has been so exciting(?), I have taken some time to reflect on what has been going on in each of my math classrooms. As I previously posted, we use Evernote on the iPads, plus sentence frames, for students to write about their work in math. The only problem is that I wasn't getting the deeper, detailed responses I was looking for, or that our standards require.

For example, one sentence starter said: "If someone were absent today, I would tell them______" The response I got was "... that we did multiplication."

Ummm... yes, you did do multiplication. But how? Why? What strategies did you learn? What strategies did you try? How did you solve the multiplication problem today?

I went back to my

I created about 10 sentence starters for math journals. The way I have used these is to laminate them, and have students use a dry-erase marker to write their responses. Then the students take a picture of their response and put it into Evernote. I generally let students choose which sentence starter they want to use, since they may have had an "ah-ha" moment, or may still be struggling with something.

Click on the image to download all 10!

Since testing has been so exciting(?), I have taken some time to reflect on what has been going on in each of my math classrooms. As I previously posted, we use Evernote on the iPads, plus sentence frames, for students to write about their work in math. The only problem is that I wasn't getting the deeper, detailed responses I was looking for, or that our standards require.

For example, one sentence starter said: "If someone were absent today, I would tell them______" The response I got was "... that we did multiplication."

Ummm... yes, you did do multiplication. But how? Why? What strategies did you learn? What strategies did you try? How did you solve the multiplication problem today?

I went back to my

__Guided Math__**book by Laney Sammons, and found the section on math journals. There were quite a few great sentence starters in there. I had a few more that I wanted to add. One was from my days of teaching in Chicago, when the students had to write their problem-solving steps on the state's math test. The third grade teacher at my school came up with the (brilliant) idea of teaching the students to use a t-chart with "What I Did" on one side, and "Why I Did It" on the other side.**I created about 10 sentence starters for math journals. The way I have used these is to laminate them, and have students use a dry-erase marker to write their responses. Then the students take a picture of their response and put it into Evernote. I generally let students choose which sentence starter they want to use, since they may have had an "ah-ha" moment, or may still be struggling with something.

Click on the image to download all 10!

I'm looking forward to putting these to use once testing is over. I'm so curious to see if these will help guide students towards the more thoughtful responses we are looking for.

If you use them, please comment here and let me know what you think!

If you use them, please comment here and let me know what you think!