Stingray Staff

Stingray Staff
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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Curricular Feature: Math Journals Part 2

I finished up my first journaling check of this school year.  I had so much fun visiting classrooms and pulling journals.  My heart was beaming as I saw the improvement in every single classroom I visited.  I can't wait until my second cycle of journal walkthroughs because as the students grow and we grow the journals are going to just keep getting better. 

For a second week in a row, I would like to feature more math journal components.  My purpose for this is two fold.  Many teachers express to me that they are still learning and growing their math journals, but at the same time, many of you have implemented components that have increased the complexity of these tools for your students and these ideas need to be shared!!!!

One teacher who has a great component in her math journals is Kelly Grimshaw.  Below are the problem solving strategies that her students have glued into their math journals: 

Here are one of those strategies at work in her journals: 

Both Chelsea Riley and Terri Trudell have introduced the 8 mathematical practices to their students.  Here is what that looks like in Chelsea's journals: 

The next set of journals absolutely blew me away.  The fact that she has her students already grappling with complex problems with this level of detail was amazing to me.  Chelsea Riley's journal entries are featured below: 

From fifth grade to first grade where more formal journaling begins.  All of our first grade teachers have already begun journaling in math.  Fifth teachers are rejoicing now as they read this!!!!

While there are only so many ways first graders can express their thinking this early in the game, our first grade teachers have some pretty creative strategies that they utilize to pull students into the prompt: 

Pam Llewellyn changes all of her word problems so that they include the names of her students.  She then frames the word problem using construction and gives it to the student after the lesson.  They call it being famous and being published. 

Mr. Wahl creates buy in to journaling by allowing students to express their thinking in a colorful way. 

I am going to be honest, this came from either Terry Thompson or Jennifer Johnson's room.  Both of these wonderful teachers give their students journal prompts and ask them to solve it using a model and to try and explain their thinking. 

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