I have blogged about math journals before, but I hope to share a few new tips in this post today!
- Whole Group Note Taking
- Guided Practice during Whole Group
- Recording Sheet/Reference Book during Rotations
- Independent Practice Notebook
- Application of Concepts Notebook
- Record of Math Knowledge Through the Year
- Responding and Reflecting on New Concepts
Let’s just say that your use of the math journal should fit the need you have for your math block! Make it work for you and the needs of your math teaching.
In my classroom, we use our journals for application and independent practice. My students have math journal as a rotation in our guided math block. During this rotation, students complete an independent activity that stays in their journal. This activity is never a new concept. It is a concept that is spiraled from previous weeks. I love how it keeps ideas fresh and presents concepts in different formats for deeper student thinking.
Just look below to see the difference in work on the same prompt. Number formation, mathematical thinking, procedure, and even creativity are evident. I can see the progression over time because everything is always in the journal.
Using a math journal in this way takes care of a few issues for me the teacher:
- Less piles of papers to check
- One spot to look for all the work from each student
- Perfect tool for parent conferences because it is a record of student’s math thinking over time.
- Students take ownership and pride in their journal which promotes higher quality work
I spent this last school year combing the standards and creating math journal activities that were interactive, high interest, and independent for my first graders. If you are interested in using a math journal in this way check out the links below.