Journaling in Mathematics

Journaling in Mathematics

Transcript of Journaling in Mathematics

Page 1: Journaling in Mathematics

Journaling in Mathematics

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Why Use Math Journals?

A math journal is one of the best ways to introduce writing into your math class.

It helps students stretch their thinking and make sense of problems.

When children write in their math journals, they examine, express and keep track of their reasoning.

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Writing Should:

help students become aware of what they do and do not know  connect prior knowledge with what the student is studying  summarize the student's knowledge and give insight into

understanding help the student raise questions about new ideas  give the student a chance to reflect on what is known allow the student to construct mathematics for him or herself help the student keep his or her thoughts organized help address the issue of "math anxiety"    help teachers answer specific questions such as: 

Does the student use mathematics to make sense of a complex situation?  Can the student formulate hypotheses?  Can the student organize information?  Can the student explain concepts?  Does the student use communication skills effectively?  Does the student use appropriate mathematical language? Is the student confident in his or her abilities?

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Where to Begin…

Writing about your thinking is challenging. It is best to start with open-ended prompts such as:

I learned that… I discovered that… I was surprised that… I noticed that I…

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The basic steps to think pair share


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Once students are comfortable with the Think-Pair-Share strategy, introduce Think-Write-Pair-Share strategy.

As the students think about the question they also write their response in a variety of techniques such as webbing, pictures, numbers, and words.

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Your Turn… Choose one of the following to write about in your journal.

Right now I feel…

Write a question that looms large in your mind right now.

One thing I would like to accomplish today is…

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Writing About Familiar Mathematical Ideas

Once your students have had some time writing about their attitudes and feelings towards mathematics in their journals they are ready to write about familiar math concepts.

Explain by using pictures, numbers or words what subtraction means.

Explain what is most important to understand about fractions.

Tips I would give a friend to solve this problem are.........

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Your turn… What was going through your mind when you solved

the problem? (to reveal the reasoning process) What was interesting? (to see their curiosity) What helped you find the solution? (to articulate strategic thinking, to find patterns, to

acknowledge the thinking of others) What are you wondering? ( to inspire further investigations, to perceive inquiry

as an ongoing process)

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Writing About More Advanced Math Concepts

When you feel your students are ready, ask them to write about more complex mathematical ideas.

Present a graph from a newspaper and have your students write a paragraph about the graph.

Explain a formula. Write everything you know about


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Organization of Math Journals

There are many ways to organize math journals and math writing.

You must decide what would be best for you and the students in your class.

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A Journal Entry to Sum Up Your Day

My favorite time of the day was… because…

Tomorrow I will do ________ differently. Here’s how…

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Day Two: Reflective Writing

If you were to publish a book about yourself, what would you title it?

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The Journey of a Beginning Math Coach

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Describe using pictures, numbers, and words.

Choose from any of the photos on your table.

Please attach them into your journal.