We actually completed two journal entries this week. On Tuesday we completed our first journal entry. Last year we did concept webs as our final journal entry of the year. Students went through their journals and "mapped" all of their learning throughout the year. You can read about it HERE. Some of you commented that it would be a great idea to do these webs at the beginning and end of the year, so the students could "see" their learning over the year. Well, thank-you for a WONDERFUL idea. That's exactly what we did. I showed students examples of our concept webs from the end of last year, and showed them how to set it up. We started with the word 'math' in the center of our page, then drew 5 branches for each of our math strands (in Ontario we have 5 math strands: Number Sense and Numeration, Data Management and Probability, Geometry, Measurement, and Patterning and Algebra). From there, I asked students to think about things they learned in math last year, and to write the concept and a small picture off the branch they thought it related to. (I completely forgot to take pictures of this entry last week, but I'll take some on Monday and add them to this post.)
On to Place Value. We've been doing a lot of operation review during the first two weeks. As part of our daily calendar/number of the day review at the beginning of each class, we've also been examining number forms (standard, expanded, written) and factors and multiples (I'll do a blog post about this in the near future). With students already familiar with some of these concepts from our daily review, when we started officially learning about place value on Thursday, the transition was an easy one. This was the first journal entry we completed with left-side and right-side of the page thinking, so we took it nice and slow. I modeled each step for the students, and took them through each section of the left-side of the page together (where they show their own thinking). I will probably do this for one more journal entry, and then gradually release the responsibility to them.
After we recorded the learning goal (curriculum language on the right side, and in our own words on the left side), and completed "what I know", we started. We made an accordion fold interactive tool for place value this year (I want to do a different interactive tool from last year for each concept we include in our journals, as I have half of my students from last year and want to keep things different for them). Last year we made pockets and number strips for place value - up to the hundred thousands. You can read about that entry HERE. A few of you wrote to tell me that your students are responsible for numbers up to the billions. Where I live, my students need to read numbers up to the millions, but are only responsible for knowing place value up the hundred thousands (grade 6) and ten thousands (grade 5). So, I decided to make our interactive tool include place value up to the billions for you. I gave each student 1/2 a sheet of paper (lengthwise), and asked them to make accordion folds for 10 sections - I modeled this process to the class. After we had labeled our columns, and glued the tool into our notebooks (glue only the ones column), we drew in base 10 blocks below, and practiced the written and expanded forms of a number chosen by the class.
I took them through the rest of the left-side of the page slowly (I did give my grade 6 students the opportunity to complete the page on their own since they were already familiar with this from last year when they were in grade 5). We came up with examples that we could use for our proof, and decided on a mnemonic device to help us remember the order of the columns. I let the students work in pairs to come up with a mnemonic device, and we voted as a class on the one that we included in our journals - "Olived tried ham that tasted horribly moldy" - (ones to millions). ;)
As my grade six students could work independently on the right side of the page, one of them asked to share what she had come up with. She displayed it under the ELMO and showed the students what she had (which was fabulous because she made a picture/diagram, so the students had the opportunity to see two different forms of reflections).
That's about it ... did you happen to see the TeacherspayTeachers newsletter this morning? My Interactive Math Journal was the #1 product of the week!!! YAY!!! Thank-you so much for all your support. I have received so many wonderful comments from all of you - and am so excited about each one. This is something I truly believe in. For the first time ever, my students were actually excited about math journals, and their math scores (from our provincial testing) showed that they are comprehending the concepts much better! If you are using interactive math journals in your classroom this year, I would love to hear how they are working in your classroom.