Using Math Journals

Have you ever wanted to incorporate more writing into your math lessons?  After all, students need to be able to write about many different things in many different areas.  One easy way to add a little writing into your math lesson is by using math journals.

What is a Math Journal?

Math journals are a simple way to incorporate a small amount of writing into your math lesson.  They also are an easy way to be constantly reviewing the concepts you have covered in math.  All you need to begin is a regular size notebook!  Each day your child will write a sentence or two about a math problem, skill, or concept that they have covered in the past.

How to Use Math Journals

Simply set aside the first 5-10 minutes of your math time to spend on your math journal. Since this is a time when your children should be mainly working independently, this is also a great time for you to look over the math for the day if you need to.

What Goes in a Math Journal?

There are two main things that can be put into a math journal.

  1. Daily word problem – Simply write out a word problem in the journal or on another sheet of paper every day for your child to solve.  Your child should then solve the problem and explain in words why they decided to solve using the method they chose. More advanced children could also work backwards.  You could give them a math problem and have them write a word problem for it.
  2. Concept explanations – Another easy math journal task is to have your child explain why a math concept works.  For example, you could have your child write out why you have to rename in the problem 27-9.  Having them put in words why you do something in math helps you see if your child really understands the concept.

Math journals are an easy way to expand your math lessons and ensure that your child is understanding what you are teaching.  Have you ever used math journals with your children?

Photo by: alonis

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