I'm always looking for a way to incorporate writing into my math lessons. Most of the time it is just a sentence or two here or there as an explanation or a definition.
A semester reflection is one way I thought of to focus on writing in a way that naturally fit into my classroom. I think it was interesting for them because it was opinion based but also interesting for me because I received feedback on my students, my instruction, and my classroom.
At the end of the first semester we give our end of course exam for the second time as a way to show growth from August to December. I did this early enough so that I could give students class time in the computer lab since once of my requirements was to type their paper.
I broke it down very specifically for each paragraph to avoid students saying they didn't know what to write. I thought it went over very well. I didn't give a page requirement since I gave a paragraph requirement and there really was very little complaining.
For Algebra II, I substituted graphing calculator for compass and ruler.
I graded these over Christmas break which was actually a fun way to get back into my teaching groove. I was so amused that I made a 'reflection reflection' based on "trends" I noticed in their papers.
I laughed. They laughed.
P.S. I despise Times New Roman with all of my heart. Almost as much as Comic Sans.