Here are few pictures of what is included in our journals:
We incorporate our math vocabulary
We store our multiplication table and our flash cards
We make foldables to enhance our understanding
We paste our wordle creations
We copy our anchor charts
We create graphic organizers
We solve problems!
Basically, we do all of our concept work in these journals. It has been so much fun diving into math journaling. In the years past I have stuck to the Everyday Math curriculum and haven't deviated from it. This year I have seen a big difference in my students. First of all, their understanding of math vocabulary is amazing! Even with third graders we usually struggle with reading and understanding the connection between certain math words. I am so proud of how my group this year has taken responsibility for the vocabulary themselves. When there is a word they don't understand- they are so ready to stop and figure it out instead of just attempting a problem (like I usually saw). I also see that their number sense has improved. I'll never forget my first year of teaching third grade- I went through the whole unit on fractions and then we looked at fractions on the number line in our classroom- and I had a student ask me if fractions were like real numbers? As in, fractions belong in the same group as the numbers I have seen all year on the number line? I was shocked. This year I am continually amazed at their ability to work through new concepts on their own. We were working on fractions on a number line and I had my trusty lesson ready to go- when I showed them the number line and asked if they could find any fractions on it, they had a million! There went my lesson-but I had them journal about it instead!
Next year I will teach 2nd grade and I want to start my littles on math journaling right away. I can only imagine the quality of their journals when I loop with them to third grade! I am sure that they will rise to the occasion but I keep wondering about what exactly second graders are capable of in the beginning of the school year. So, all my first and second grade teachers, what can I expect from them? How do you use journals?