It all came about because we had a year focusing on writing across the curriculum here at our school a few years ago now. As part of that I attended a good PD session delivered by an expert (James Ferguson is a name that rings a bell) who introduced me to the different text types and how he encourages them to be taught at a primary level. I put his ideas directly into action when thinking about the "What Did I Do" section - developing this as a recount, or a story of "how I worked like a mathematician". I sort of developed the third section along similar lines - there are some differences - the impersonal style, the timeless-present tense. Some of my ideas also came from a book I acquired about learning to write. I actually contacted the author of this book and got some more feedback, again positive although she seemed to hint that I might be making the process a little onerous.
Follow up with:
Of course you can see the four sections addressed in the report which came directly from the task centre. But other than that it's suprisingly difficult to find any advice or material on how to really teach students to write about mathematics.
I've shared some of the powerpoints with others, all of whom have found them invaluable, including staff from Lilydale High School who visited during their process of shifting their curriculum to Working Like a Mathematician.
And actually just the other day at the book shop at Latrobe Uni I picked up another book. This guy is helping scientists or uni students write their articles and presentations. It's good to read and I like where he's coming from. He suggests that, rather than be afraid of the writing or treating it as an unfortunate but necessary task, if you plan properly for it then the process becomes much more enjoyable and even informs and improves the study, experimenting, or learning that has taken place. I'm hoping to use some of his ideas to further the develop the idea of the Conclusion - so far I have found it difficult to inform and support that process.
So it's come a long way, but I can still develop it a little further I think. When it works you get some really great work out of students,
and not least they feel pretty proud of what they have achieved.
We have a powerpoint like this for each replacement unit we do - so I have Jumping Kangaroos, Pentagon Triangles, and Garden
Beds. Each uses exactly the same process.