At the end of every unit, the freshmen create a portfolio that represents their best work from the unit. Included in the portfolio are a cover letter summarizing the mathematical ideas of the unit and a personal growth letter. Below are some samples from each (*I’ve cleaned up the grammar and spelling a bit- but the words are theirs*):

**Cover Letters:**

This unit has made me slow down and think about the patterns in math.

It’s actually fun to try to find the hardest pattern that no one has found yet.

I can’t believe how much math we learned in this unit.

Finding rules for in-out tables is much more fun than the y = mx + b stuff we did last year.

**Personal Growth letters:**

I have to learn not to start discussions in my group until everyone is paying attention.

I didn’t think I’d like groups, but I like being able to get other ideas about a problem.

I’ve learned it’s OK to ask questions when I don’t understand something.

I’ve learned not to give up when I don’t know what to do at first.

I don’t like this math program but it has taught me to do word problems.

Obviously the person who wrote the comment about the “y = mx + b stuff”, doesn’t really get the connection –yet. However, I’m really enjoying my freshmen classes. On the whole, they are interested in learning, interested in mathematics, and just a lot of fun. My favorite personal growth statement…”I’ve grown 0.5 cm this unit.”

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Wow, sounds like you are doing a great job!

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