There are a tonne of words on the page, and sometimes even elaborate pictures with intricate details, but the mathematical communication is weak at best. Certainly, few teachers or other students could look at the so-called solution and make out what exactly the students did. As I have been reflecting on this in recent weeks, it occurs to me that perhaps our criteria are too many and too specific.
Today, we summarized the long list we had made several weeks ago, and re-wrote our criteria list. On it now were only two items:
1. Write a sentence that answers the question.
2. Show how you got the answer.
We also noted that it was important to remember to include an actual sentence that answers the question. Some students had been getting so caught up in the solution, that they never actually answered the question. Insisting that they do so helped many of them clarify their own understanding of what it was they were thinking about.