Engage students in error analysis and writing in math with these math journal prompts for third grade. Incorporate writing and critical thinking skills in your math instruction with 22 writing prompts, which include a variety of math skills such as multiplication, division, arrays, addition to the hundreds and thousands place, and subtraction to the hundreds and thousands place.
These third grade math journals are an excellent resource to use in your math rotations, as an extension activity, or a whole group practice.
Half of the prompts are error analysis -they provide a word problem that has already been solved, but the solution is incorrect. Your students will need to carefully read the word problem and analyze the work to find the error(s). They then will explain in writing what the error is and how the problem should be solved to arrive at the correct solution. This gives students a chance to flip their math thinking from just computation, into interpretation, critique and reasoning (claims 1 and 3 for SBAC).
The other set of prompts present students with a word problem that they must solve.
Then they need to explain in writing what strategy they used and justify their answer. Again, this moves kids from just computation into application of problem solving, and constructing viable arguments to support their reasoning (claims 2 and 3 for SBAC).
I’ve included answer keys for each prompt as a guide to help you assess your student’s work. There may be variations in the way your students answer, as is the case with any short answer question.
The answer keys for the error analysis prompts show a sample answer that your student could write to explain the errors. You could use this to model how you expect students to complete their journal, or post it in your math center as an example of what to do.
The answer keys for the solve and explain prompts show a method or strategy for solving the problem, as well as a sample explanation of the student’s work. I’ve included open number lines, expanded form, and standard algorithm. If you do not use those strategies, that is ok. Students can solve the problem using any method that they (or you) like.