This year, I’ve made the switch to ALL Open-Ended Journal prompts. Why? Because it allows the kids to dig deeper and forces them to convey stronger mathematical reasoning. I see more “behind the scenes” thinking going on which is invaluable to me. With open-ended questions, there are multiple solutions.
What’s the Difference?
Old Questions I'd use: There are 10 cookies. 7 are chocolate chip. How many are sugar? (There is only ONE answer.)
Open-Ended Way: There are 10 cookies. Some are sugar and some are chocolate chip. How many of each could I have? (There are SEVERAL answers. Kids can make/show MANY combinations.)
How do I use these? My original intent was to place in the back of the kids’ poetry binders. But that still involved passing out papers and binders opening and closing…a lot! So, I now run them off and create a little monthly packet. These go home at the end of the month. I only have 15 problems in my packets and use the rest for DO-NOWS that go home that day.
Can also be used for homework.
* Packet has 33 pages of prompts: 24 offered with variations of a few for differentiated instruction.)
*Two covers in case you don’t like font on first. (Assuming you want to make a packet.)
*Can be folded in half and glued in notebooks if that's what you are currently using.
*I offer lower/higher numbers for some problems so you can differentiate.
*All problems have lots of possible answers so I make it clear to kids that I want to see several possible answers. It is expected. Seeing what’s NOT there is just as telling as seeing what is there.
Once you switch over to Open-Ended, you'll never want the standard prompts again. Promise!