## Sunday, May 13, 2012

### Math Journal Sundays

Happy Mother's Day to all you fabulous mothers out there!  I wrote this post early and scheduled it to go out today because I'm celebrating with my family today.  We're starting with a fabulous brunch (my own family, my sister and her family, and my mom and dad), then all the girls in the family are going to see the Cirque du Soleil, and then I get to return to a fantastic supper cooked by my wonderful husband (and hopefully cleaned up by my girls).  Can't think of a better way to spend the day!

OK ... on with the post.  I only have one math journal entry to share with you today.  I had planned to do another one on Friday, but a coworker of mine brought quite a few of my journals with her to our board's "share fair" on Friday.  No journals = no journal entry for the day ... that's all right though, it gave us more time to finish up our Mother's Day activity.

We're still in our 2D geometry unit - just need to finish up transformational geometry before we move on to fractions.  This journal entry was all about symmetry.  Symmetry isn't a new concept for my students, but rotational symmetry is new for my grade 5 students.

This is the right-side of our journal entry - the one I model (I use my document camera to project it over the smartboard while I work on it) for the students to copy.  We started out with our learning goal, then made a T-chart to compare Lines of Symmetry and Rotational Symmetry.  We gave a definition for both, the cut out a trapezoid, square, and parallelogram for each side.  For the lines of symmetry, we folded the shapes to check for symmetry, then drew the lines on the shape.  We glued the shape down so that it could still be folded to check for symmetry (tricky with the square - we could put glue on 1/8 of the shape so that it could still fold).  We discussed the "big idea" that regular polygons had the same number of lines of symmetry as sides on the shape.  For the rotational symmetry side, we attached the shapes to the page using brass fasteners, and then traced the shape on the page.  We could then rotate the shapes to check for rotational symmetry.

Students also completed their "left-side thinking" - learning goal in student-friendly terms, what I know, what I learned, proof, and a reflection.  They work on this side independently.  I really like how this student completed another example of rotational symmetry, using a different shape then we used on the right side.

At the beginning of class the next day, one student reviews the lesson by sharing his or her "left-side thinking".  They put their journals under the document camera, and talk us through their thinking.  Ever since we have started the left-side thinking, at least one of my students asks me if they can be chosen to share the next day ... now that screams success and engagement to me!  What more can I ask for???

Well, that's about it ... Happy Sunday, and Happy Mother's Day!  Hope all you mommies get lovingly spoiled today!

1. I love this idea! I'll have to make sure to remember to do this next year when we talk about shapes!

1. Thank-you so much!

2. Oh my goodness, I want a document camera so bad so that I can show how to create the foldables on the SmartBoard, too! {slightly jealous}

I love that you have a students share his/her "left-side thinking". So important and something I forget to do...thanks for the reminder!

Happy Mother's Day!

Elizabeth
Fun in Room 4B

1. Thanks, Elizabeth! My document camera has become my #1 teaching tool this year (surpassed my smartboard - never thought that would happen).

3. I absolutely love what you are doing with Math Journals. I must confess that I don't really know what to do with Math Journals. You have inspired me.
Susan at RodriguezRockStars

1. Thank-you so much, Susan! This is the first year I've actually enjoyed doing math journals - it has made all the difference!

4. I was inspired to try math journals in my classroom at the beginning of the year. It hasn't been perfect, but I've done better than I ever expected. My first year journal is my guide for next year. As I've read your posts(Thank you Pinterest) and learned there is a better way I have printed them off and inserted them into my journal as guidance for next year. Thanks for being an inspiration...My journal is now inspiring my grade level colleagues as well as other staff members to give it a try next year. THANK YOU!

1. Thank-YOU so much! This is the first year I've actually enjoyed doing math journals (and the first year I've kept them going all the way through the year). I can't wait to watch them continue to evolve next year!

5. Happy Mother's Day! Thank you again for sharing. I look forward to your posts on Sunday. I get to switch grades next year (from 6 to 5- no EQAO for me- yeah!) so I am excited to try new things with my class. Math journals are up on my list for summer planning.

1. Thank-you! SO jealous of the no EQAO next year - I'm the only teacher for both grades 5 and 6 at my school ... so I'm stuck with the testing. I don't want to switch to 3/4 or 7/8, so it's me and EQAO ... sigh.

6. Happy Mother's Day my friend!!! Hope you had a wonderful time with your family!!
Isn't it amazing how much pride kids take in their left side?!? They ask me to share all the time!
I love that you have sut out shapes instead of just drawing them. Give the notebook another dimension!
I can't wait to start my Math notebooks next year!

❤ Mor Zrihen from...
A Teacher's Treasure
Teaching Treasures Shop

1. Thanks, Mor! We had a fabulous time - Cirque du Soleil was AMAZING! The kids are loving the left-side of the journals - students who have never wanted to share their work are now asking. THANK-YOU!

7. Jen, I have learned so much from your math journal posts! Thanks for always sharing your great ideas. I am hoping that next year mine will be on this same track.
Beth
Thinking of Teaching

1. Thank-you, Beth! I'm so excited to think that you'll be doing the same kind of journals next year - I can't wait to see what FABULOUS ideas you come up with!!!

8. I just want to say I love all the ideas you are sharing. I have been sharing them with my 8th grade team in preparation for next year. Thanks for sharing!

1. Thank-you so much, Alana! I appreciate you sharing my ideas - and I hope you are able to adapt many of these ideas for your class!

9. okay so what a fabulous mother's day you have had. Cirque is on my wishing list. i think maybe you should come join me in primary. But I am sure you would be wonderful no matter what grade you teach. You have to tell me how the sharing of your work went and I love that you inspire so many of us. thanks mary

1. Mary - the show was FANTASTIC!!! I had seen the Cirque when I was 16 ... but it was so much better than I remembered. I guess there was more talking then "sharing" at the Share Fair, so my journals weren't really examined ... I guess they're still my little secret at my board. ;)

2. I am so glad that you enjoyed the show. I will have to definitely go to one myself one of these days. I am sure your little secret will catch on like wildfire when everyone finds out about what they are missing out on. Maybe we could just direct them to your blog and that would say it all. Just a thought. Hope you have a great week and looking forward to your next post. mary

10. I find myself pinnng all of your math journal ideas!! The last one was repinned over 400 times! Thanks so much for sharing. I love the right and left side idea. Can't wait to use it next year.

1. Thank-you so much, Julie! I hope your students really enjoy the journals next year - I know mine have!

11. I love your math journals! I had my second graders begin one and they are grasping concepts so much more quickly and better now! I am so inspired by your ideas, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING :)It's hard sometimes to think of fun ways for them to use them (i.e. making things 3-d like you do in most) They love those kind of activities. Again, thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas.

1. Thank-you, Jessica! I'm so happy to hear these ideas are working for your class! I've been getting ideas for the journals at the weirdest times ... and then I have to do them right away before I forget. I think it's becoming a sickness ... ;)

12. I love your blog. :) Saying hello from the giveaway at A Teacher's Treasure.

~April @ ideabackpack.blogspot.com

1. Thanks, April!

13. I am new to your web site and I love the math journal ideas. Is there some where I can go to get your very first post about math journals so I can get them ready for next year? Also do you recommend a composition note book ( they are small) or a regular sized lined note book?

1. Thank-you so much! If you click on the "Math Journal Sundays" button on this post or on my sidebar, it will bring you to a page that has all my journal entries. This year we used a regular sized lined notebook, but I'm thinking about using spiral notebooks next year.

14. Already a follower of your wonderful blog, just stopping by from A Teacher's Treasure!

Lindsey

15. Wow! I just came across your site, this is wonderful. I did have 2 questions for you. What math program/curriculum do you use and how long does it take your students to create the foldables and assemble them in the journal?

1. Thank-you so much! I'm from Ontario (Ontario curriculum) - I don't have to follow a prescribed program (yay!) as long as I follow the expectations in our curriculum. It usually takes us about 45 minutes to complete our journals entry from start to finish, but there's a lot of learning that goes on during that time. Definitely time-consuming ... but so worthwhile I wouldn't change a thing.

16. I love your Math Journals. It is inspiring me for my middle school science journals next year. I'm already a follower, I stopped by to say hi from A Teacher's Treasure.

1. Hi Pamela! Thank-you!

17. What are your thoughts on using an interactive journal in a HS geometry class?

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