Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What are the other kids doing? ---- Math Journals

Welcome to our new linky--What are the other kids doing?  It's a linky dedicated to sharing independent practice activities that you use with your students that make it possible for you to meet with small guided math groups.  

Today's topic--math journals!

Math journals are used in several ways by my students during independent work time.  First, a bit about how math journals are organized. 

Over the years, I found that much of students' notebooks got wasted as full pages were not used and students didn't seem to want to start a new problem on the same page as another.  After MANY years, I decided to have composition books cut in half--with last year being the first year for this.  It worked fabulously! Rarely did I have a second graders not use both sides of a page, and they didn't simply open their notebooks to any ole' page.  Something about the smallness of these little gems seemed magical!

Students keep journals in their math folders that "travel" with them as they move about various workstations during independent work time.  When students rotate to the math journal station, prompts are waiting for them, or a task is outlined on a To Dos sheet.  I simply type prompts in a strip format, cut them apart and bag them.  Prompts are also differentiated, as prompts are placed in numbered baggies and put into the math journal drawer.  Students know what numbered bag to access. 

Students are not always given prompts.  At times, they may be asked to create problems for their classmates.  When creating problems, students must always solve the problems as well.  Problems are then typed and used as future prompts.

Journals are a place where students often practice problem solving with models--addition and subtraction problems with the unknown in multiple positions.  The example below show includes a checklist as a guide. 

The following pics show some different prompts.

Discussion is also an important part of math journal time.  My students use discussion fans to help guide their discussions at various levels.  Multiple ways of solving are shared and students show respect for their fellow classmates' thinking.  I have shared this freebie in the past--BUT if you missed it, please feel free to download here!

Math journals are also a place for reflecting on learning, justifying thinking, and illustrating essential vocabulary--all of which can be done during independent work time while I am meeting with small guided math groups.   

This year, I want to examine how an interactive class journal can be used during independent work time.  

We would love to learn how your kids use math journals during independent work time, SO link up with us!

AND a reminder...

Coming this SUNDAY!

You MUST visit us this Sunday for a fabulous blog hop---Math Books That Will Change Your Teaching! The hop was organized by Brandi at The Research Based Classroom!

Here's how the hop will work:
  • Visit our blog and read about a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED math teaching resource.
  • Enter our drawing to win a copy of the book!
  • Hop to the next blogger, the next, and the next... to read about more fabulous math teaching resources and enter for a chance to win each of them!!


No comments:

Post a Comment