Thursday, February 23, 2012

Math Journals

I like to show my students that they can have some fun with being creative while doing math by making math journals for them. Below are links to two 10 page journals I recently created.

The format for these is fairly easy for a child to do on their own. I do have a few who can read the prompts on their own. However, I go over the prompts with the class. They then complete a drawing that reflects the prompt. They then fill in a number sentence under their drawing. This year, I have more students who love to work on these in their free time than ever before, so I am constantly having to create new ones. For my more advanced students, I have them go back to label their drawing with phonetic spelling. I also encourage them to write a sentence using one of the words on the back of their page. I completely celebrate phonetic spelling because once a student correctly masters the process of hearing each "sound" in a word, real spelling often falls right into place shortly thereafter.

Once a page is completed, I stamp a small stamp in the upper-right hand corner of the page. That way, I can keep track of who still needs to complete certain pages before collecting the journal to save for parents. I like to save these from the beginning of school to show progress with how students have changed as far as their computation abilities and writing changes. I also notice a huge increase toward the end of the year in students that are more willing to do the challenge activities of labeling and writing sentences on the back of journal pages. (Some students have even begun to do this process on their math homework!)
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