This month, I am sharing some sure-fire ways to get your students communicating mathematically through their writing. Today’s strategy is called “Convince Me!” This strategy is designed to help students develop communication skills through persuasive writing because students have to “convince” someone that they understand a skill through pictures, words, and numbers.
In order to convince someone they understand specific content, students have to have a firm grasp of the topic themselves. This strategy provides students with the opportunity to make sense of the skill in their own words and demonstrate their understanding. What I love about this strategy is the convincing part. Students have to write enough to convince someone else that they understand the content– a skill in itself that takes time to develop.
Here’s how it works:
1. Present students with the learning objectives.
2. Either assign students a learning objective about which to write or allow them to choose their own objective.
3. Have students “convince” you or another adult, like a parent or older sibling, that they understand the content objective. Students can use pictures, words, or numbers in order to make their case.
In terms of grading, this isn’t a task that I would use to assign a grade. It’s really more to help the students develop communication through writing skills. It would be more appropriate to have students share their work with another student and receive feedback. The other student can then talk about what part convinced them or what would need to be added in order to be convinced.
Give it a try!
Sound Off! How will you use this strategy with your own students?