Saturday, September 26, 2015

Interactive Math Journals

Last week I talked about how I switched my old math program to Guided Math Groups... but I did do whole group instruction as well.  Whole group instruction came in the form of taking "notes" in our math journals.

I bought my math journal stuff on Teachers Pay Teachers from Runde's Room and boy has it been a life saver!  I came up with a couple of ideas on my own but for the most part have stuck to her template and everything.  She lays everything out very clearly and it is super easy to follow!

sample of a left page
sample of a right page

So, in our math groups we will generally all be doing something similar.  For example when we were talking about angles my lower group may have been sorting different angles and my upper group making angles and triangles based on different measurements.  Before starting this though we would take a double math period and make a page in our math journals about angles.  I would teach the whole class about sorting and measuring them... whether I was going to have them doing that later on or not.

I have not followed Runde's Room suggestions for everything though.  We do everything on the right side of the page together... on the left side of the page students are supposed to write the learning goal in their own words... I have us come up with a kid friendly learning goal together.  Some of my students would have been great at doing it on their own... others would have left it blank and others would have copied the same thing again.  This way I can guarantee that everyone has something else written down.

I had some students that couldn't read very well.  Because they couldn't read very well it meant that copying down "notes" would take these students a long, long time.  So, I wrote out in my math journal what they would be doing, made the interactive tool and then whited out some of the words.  Then I would photocopy these things for them so that they just had to make the tool themselves and put the photocopies inside their journals.  Of course they would have to pay attention to fill in the missing words as well.

My goal in the future would be to use the suggestion to take 10 minutes out of the next days class to have one student come up and share the previous day's lesson from their math journal and re teach the rest of us.  I did this in the very beginning and then for whatever reason just stopped.  We had a document camera so it would have been perfect to continue to do and use that... something to think about for next time I guess.

We then used our math journals during our math groups when they were working with me.  We could review what we had talked about and how it related to what I was talking to them about that day.  I would never want them to take any other kind of "notes"

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