07 October 2012

Math Journal Sundays - Place Value and Summary of Learning

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers out there.  Can you smell my apple pies baking???  LOVE Thanksgiving dinner, and I'm lucky (and thankful) that I get to do it twice - dinner at my mom and dad's tonight, and at my mother-in-law's tomorrow.  I bring the pies and my nine year-old makes the bread.  The house smells good all weekend!

On to my math journals ...
This first entry was actually done at the end of last week (but I forgot to take pictures last week).  I did the same 10-flap interactive tool last year, but it's such a good fit for this activity, I decided not to change it.  This one is for reviewing place value columns - we were nearing the end of the unit, and I wanted to get a little assessment in.  We fold the paper in half, then cut 10 flaps on one half of the folded paper.  As a class, we came up with the numbers for the front of the flaps, and then we chose what digit to highlight.  Under the flaps, the students wrote the place value columns for each highlighted digit.  As they did this part independently, we took it up for a quick assessment.  The students also completed their left-side of the page thinking.  The students are now working almost independently on their left-side of the page thinking.  I do have to help some of my grade 5 students with ideas for proof and reflection, but all my grade 6 students and most of the grade 5 students are coming up with their own ideas.

LOVE her reflection at the bottom of the page!

On Monday we completed our "Summary of Learning" for the unit.  We had our unit test on Wednesday, so this was a great review for them.  Because of the reflective nature of this journal entry, the students didn't have to complete left-side of the page thinking for this entry.  (This also leaves a blank page for me to complete and glue in their checklist assessment.  These completed assessments will be sent home for the parents to look over and sign).  
I wanted them to reflect on our three major learning goals (expectations) for the unit, so we cut four pieces of paper - each about 1" longer than the previous one, and stapled them at the top to make a flip book.  On the bottom of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th pages, I had the students write the learning goal (making sure the three goals were visible when the book was closed).  Above each goal, students had to PROVE they had mastered the learning goal (either through a proof problem or reflection of some sort).  

Well, that's about it ... you can find all of these ideas (and about 38 more) in my Interactive Journal Resource.  Just click on the image to the right to preview the resource.

Now ... it's back to my pies ... :)
Happy Sunday!!!



  1. I love the proof for the place value. That is one area I always struggle with having the kids give evidence. I like how the student put the place value for each and every number.

    Teaching in Room 6

  2. Great idea! We are preparing to talk about decimals in a few weeks, so this will come in handy!


  3. Perfect... I look forward to Sundays every week. Cute mini me you got going on there!
    Rock Stars At Work

  4. This looks fantastic. I love your student's reflection!!

    Love your mini Jen, too :)

    Fun in Room 4B

  5. Love this!! Thanks for sharing... will be implementing this strategy into my journals this week!!

  6. Love the idea of the math journals; I've never had good success with them in previous years. I tried to replicate yours as much as possible but my grade 4 students have had a hard time with instruction, problem-solving, and completing the journal entry. I think I will modify it so that I can continue to get the feedback to/from students in, but also build their stamina. Thanks for posting the pics.


  7. I love your math journals and my kids have just found them so exciting. I have one question...on the reflection piece some of my kids just want to go overboard. How do you get them to either contain their ideas or do you allow them to attach additional pages for ideas?

  8. Hi Jen
    Love your Math Journal ideas. My students started to make posters and cootie catchers for their proof. Love how they are making new connections. I decided to give each student a 'Proof' folder to keep their bigger items in.


  9. Hey Jen, fisrt off just let me say I LUV your stuff! Sinse I found your Blog off Pinterest and TpT I've been reading, downloading, buying and being inspired pretty steadily:). Today, I added an extra review activity to our Math Journal. For the left side I will give them a few blank folds for them to create themselves... we'll see how it goes. and thanks for all your sharing.

  10. How often do the students do their math journals? Daily, weekly...?

  11. Can someone explain to me the student reflection cartoon in the place value example? I don't understand it.