Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Showing Your Work {BOX} #thestruggleisreal

Here's my tip and trick for keeping students organized when testing or quizzing in MATH. It's all about back to school right now and we are all up for trying new things right?!? So...We have work boxes! I've found that no matter how organized or disorganized that my students all need some DIRECTION and GUIDANCE on how to show their work! #thestruggleisreal Without students showing their work it's impossible to figure out where their misunderstandings are and what they need to fix them! 

At the beginning of the school year and on major tests we use work boxes! Now these can be hand drawn, paper folded, or printed boxes to help my students have an allocated space for their work. My 7th grade teacher (Mrs. Drewnowski...I think that's an awesome math teacher last name!) had a phrase that really stuck with me "Kill A Tree For Math!"...meaning, show your work, take the time and space needed, and grab an extra sheet a paper if you need to! Every time she told us this we would all giggle but we knew exactly what it meant! And guess what...she was right! It all works out so much better when students show their work but whenever it is organized they are even more successful!

From small hand writing to no work to unorganized scribbles and scratches, I have seen strange efforts to show work and I'm sure you have too. #pleasetellmeimnotalone To change this, I have my students show their work in work boxes. That way there is no question if they have shown their work and we are all on the same page (ha!). Work boxes keep them organized and it's easier for me to spot places where mistakes are made. It's a winwinwin (for me, for them, and for everyone).

I posted a free collection of work boxes in my teacherspayteachers store! Whether your students are doing 4 problems or 30 problems there is a format for all of them. Some are half page, full page, front/back, portrait, and landscape. Theres a title box (just make that up!) so your students can write what they are showing their work for a Percentages Quiz, Area and Perimeter Task Cards, or Expressions and Equations Test...just some examples. I just like having a generic set in one place (in page protectors in a binder) so it's easy to find for copying purposes.


The change that I saw was phenomenal and my students actually showed their work. Sometimes on quizzes I give a grade grade (meaning what their score was for their answers) and a grade for how they showed their work (I call that an "easy 100!" or "easy full credit"). It's a good check-up and reminder for my students that their work matters just as much (or more) as the answer. Also just a PSA that I love colored copy work boxes...a lot!

Do you love being organized or will try anything to get to that point? ME TOO! You might also be interested in: How how I teach my students how to keep their desks organized HERE and how we keep track our our notes HERE.

Stay tuned for my NEXT ORGANIZATION idea in my Upper Elementary Organization Series!
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PS. How awesome is Gabby from Gabby's Classrooms? I seriously can't visit her store without buying something {from clipart to teaching tools}. These pencils--can't stop won't stop using them!


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