I'm back for another installment of my Math Journal Sundays. I've got a hot coffee beside me, two out of three children are playing nicely, the sun is shining outside ... life is good. I think we're getting some family pictures done today - my sister is a beautiful photographer (as you can see on her blog), and has agreed to do some Fall portraits of us. So excited!!!
OK - back to the math journals. We've been doing patterning skills the past few weeks, and it was time to apply the knowledge with some problem-solving. We first reviewed the Steps to Problem-Solving. We have a school-created poster in our room that outlines these steps. We took the steps from the poster and turned them into a foldable for our journal. (Sorry the pictures are a little dark). And if you're going to make a footprint foldable, you might as well make the nails pretty. ;)
On the outside of the footprints we wrote the keywords for problem-solving.
On the inside of the footprints we summarized the information on the poster for each step. We're still focusing on summarizing in reading, so I try to integrate it wherever I can.
I let the students draw their own footprints, but upon reflection, this may not have been the best idea. Some of the footprints were so skinny the students didn't have the room to write on the insides of them. I do want the students to make these journals "their own", but I'm thinking a template every now and then may not be a bad idea.
The next day I posted a patterning problem on the blackboard. I paired up the students, and they set to work on the problem with markers and chart paper. When most groups had finished their solution, I brought the class back together to look at their solutions. We took "the best of the best" and made a foldable from the problem. (Since I had done footprints the day before, I had to do hand prints next. And of course, the fingernails were screaming to be decorated, as well).
We wrote the problem on the front, read through it, and then highlighted the important information. Then we began to plan our solution. One of the groups used the strategy of "solve a simpler problem" (YAY), and the class agreed that they had the best and most efficient plan for solving the problem.
We wrote our plan out, then wrote our solution inside the foldable. The students were amazed that the solution was such a large number when we only have 22 students in the class.
When the bell rang at the end of the day, we had to end our day with a handshake, of course.