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):
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.”