Write Your Own Textbook

One week to go before school starts up again and I am beginning to get nervous.  I am also getting depressed because I feel like I am a poor teacher and I don’t know how to teach.  I know, POSITIVITY, please.  So, I am looking through back issues of Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, which I was delighted to find my NCTM membership gives me access.

I picked Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School because as I stated before, it seems much more relevant to the level of mathematics that I teach.  And I’m hoping to find some ideas to use for the whole class discussion we have been studying in our Summer Institutes.  There is an online flipbook edition, and individual articles can be downloaded as pdfs.

Producing a How-To Book by Julie A. Mallia, Don Pawloski, and Peggy Daisey is from the February 2012 edition of  Mathematics Teaching In The Middle School. I tried to do this last year with my Geometry classes, having them write their own textbook for each unit.  But it was just a list of things to do, with very little original writing (put in your own words…) and most of it was just transcribed verbatim from the textbook, with very little evidence of understanding.  This article proposes a project that would be a summing up at the end of the year (or in my case of my Algebra double-block, end of semester).  Ideally, it would be done in concert with their English teachers, so they would make sure it was original writing.  Also, the students get to pick their topic (from a list I provide) so that they can select something they are confident that they understand. 

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