### Math Journal Sundays: Polygons and Division

With Easter last weekend, I didn't get around to posting our math journal from last week.  So, I have two entries to share with you today from our Interactive Math Journals.

We're just finishing up our 2D Geometry unit.  This journal entries for polygons was near the beginning of the unit.  I gave each student an envelope and some coloured paper, and had them work in pairs to construct as many polygons as they could think of.  They were to write the name of the polygon on the front, and on the back they were to write some of the attributes of the polygon.  (We used the shapes they created for some of our lessons following that - they used them for sorting polygons in Venn Diagrams, and measuring angles). Hindsight note:  when I gave them the envelopes (the "polygon pockets") I asked them to cut off the lip and glue them to their journals so they would act as an open pocket.  After finding many polygons on the floor, I wish I would've had them leave the lip on the envelope so they could close the envelope to keep the polygons contained.  ;).

For the proof of learning, I asked students to show the difference between a polygon and nonpolygon.  I gave them free choice for their math reflection for this entry.  Some of my students drew pictures with polygons, some wrote about them, and a few made a chart showing the # of edges and vertices.

The next entry I wanted to share with you is on division.  I spend about 20 minutes at the beginning of each math block (I have a one hundred minute math block) strictly studying skills.  We just started long division this week after a LONG time spent on multiplication.  The good news ... because we spent such a long time on multiplication, division was a breeze this week.  Did you hear that correctly?  I don't think I've ever written those words before.  Seriously.  Our class average on our division skills quiz on Friday was 80% (and that was after only three days, as it was a short week).  YAY!

We made a simple flap interactive tool for this one.  We wrote the steps to division on the outside of each flap, and then showed the step on the inside of the flap.  Easy peasy.  We also included our favourite mnemonic device for division:  Does McDonald's Serve Burgers Raw?  (Divide, Multiply, Subtract, Bring Down, Repeat or Remainder).  They LOVE this mnemonic device and have written it on every practice sheet they've done.  They've really been using this entry a lot when they're practicing their division - I even had a few students ask if they could use their journals during the quiz on Friday.  (I let them ... on the condition that they try it without their journals next week).
For the math reflection, I used my question fans and asked them to connect the concept learned today (division) to another concept they have learned (specifically, multiplication).  They were free to explain their connection using pictures, numbers, or words.

That's about it for today.  Hope you're having a FABULOUS Sunday!  (It's actually not snowing here today ... first time in about 3 days ... fingers crossed it stays that way!!!)

1. Love the mnemonic for division! What a informational post!

2. I love both of these! Can't wait to use them next year.

3. Hi Jen
I love your journals and am finding myself doing more and more journal entries with kids in grades 3-6. Thanks for the inspiration, I am so glad I follow your blog!

Tara
The Math Maniac

4. This is a great way to teach. I think some of your kids are very bright especially in geometry where some even went ahead and gave you the no of edges and vertices. If any other teacher applied these tactics in t heir lessons then their students would perform very well in these topics.

5. Hi Jen,
I have a question...do all of your kids practice basic facts for 20 minutes every day or just the ones who haven't mastered them? I definitely see the value in this practice time, but what about the kids who have mastered their basic facts? Thanks so much and I always learn so much from your posts!
Jennie

6. thanks for share..

7. I am in love with your blog! I am always excited to see a fellow Canadian teacher blogger (although I don't actually teach in Canada - I live and teach in Scotland). I've been following your blog for a while, but have never commented and thought it was time I did. I love the interactive math journals. It's something I seriously have to consider for next session.