Sunday, March 10, 2013

We Have A Winner...Math Journals

First, I want to congratulate the 4 winners of my 100 Follower Giveaway! They won some incredible items. Thank you to everyone who entered. Hopefully you discovered some new sellers that you didn't know about before or some new resources to use with your class.

My students have been struggling with problem solving in math. They are GREAT at adding and subtracting but boy, when you put it into words, they suddenly have no idea what to do. It's been frustrating but I *think* I may have found a solution.... math journals! Now I really have no idea how to really do math journals, I mean the official way (is there one?). I just pulled this idea together one day, purely out of frustration, and it seemed to work. So, I kept doing it and it kept working. Here's what it looks like...

Here's how it works:  I write an answer on the board and they copy it into their notebooks (The answer is...). Then the students have to come up with a problem to go with it. On the top half of the paper, they draw it and on the bottom, they write it out. They started out with very simple problems but now they are creating two and three-step ones that involve addition, subtraction, and even some multiplication (from my higher kids). We do this every, single day and it is making a world of difference! Now when we have assessments with story problems, almost all of them can figure out what operation to use and get the right solution. Next year I plan to start using journals from day one!

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