Saturday, January 12, 2013

Math Journals Anyone?

For years, I have used math journals as a way for the students to copy what I was writing on the board and have a place to do some math problems that they couldn't do in the book (because, well, you can't write in text book!)  But this summer, that all changed.  I got my hands on Jen Runde's Interactive Math Journal, and how I use these journals has been turned upside down.

You see, this 166 page document isn't just a source for some great lesson plans in math but rather a book that shows you how to USE a STRATEGY in your room that will directly benefit not only the students, but you as a teacher.

Sounds amazing, huh?  It is.

How has it benefited me?  Well, let me count the ways.

1.  My teaching has become more focused.  During math instruction, I ALWAYS start with the learning goals for the students.  We look at the standard together, and discuss what it is that we are expected to learn after our lesson for the day.  My students understand what it is I want them to learn and I in turn have taught them what I want them to know.  I know it sounds silly, but until reading Jen's explanation of how she does this, I really just didn't make the connection of how great making this little adjustment is.   (can you see the learning goal we wrote a the top of this journal page??------------->)




2.  Foldables, Foldables, Foldables!  Need I say more?  Now, I have been a fan of foldables for a while, but Jen has them ALL OVER!  I honestly never thought to put them *into* my math notebooks before.  I thought, "Who would see them??"  But the truth is, the STUDENTS are seeing them.  You know, those kids in our chairs who actually need to use them to learn?  Yeah...that is who is using them.  And, you know what?  They ARE referencing them down the line.  Jen has a LOT of foldable (or manipulative) ideas in the journal; one for almost ever topic.

3.  Bleed off into other subjects.  Here is why I am most excited about this resource.  Because of the ideas I have learned here (stating objectives, students reflecting after the lesson, using self-monitoring checking for understanding, etc...) the "journaling" has worn off into Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts as well!  In each of the notebooks we keep in class, I use these same principles.  It really is amazing how I, as a teacher, have been inspired!

4.  Assessment of Journals.  Another part I really love is the assessment piece.  The students are actively engaged in monitoring their own learning.  Using the ideas Jen presents in the journal, I have been able to see if my students are really using these as a valuable tool and then adjust them accordingly (if needed)

MrsStanfordsClassOK...If you haven't noticed by now, I am really pushing this hard to you.  This really is such a great, well thought out resource.  Worth EVERY.SINGLE.CENT.  You also might notice this little icon here.  Well, Jen and I are part of a product swap.

But the thing is, Jen and I asked to be partners in this because we both really are using the products we are writing about...and have been using them a while in our rooms.  This really is something that I think each and every one of you should own (if you don't already)  Even if your state has different standards or you have to follow a specific pacing plan...that doesn't matter.  The resource itself, with all the pictures, explanations, and ideas is universal enough that it can be adapted to any curriculum.

Would you like to own a copy of this Interactive Math Journal?  Well, you are in luck.  Jen is offering a 20% discount on it tonight as part of the swap.  This discount will only last until Sunday night....so hurry up and go get it!

Is anyone here already using the journal?  Can you share your experience with it?

And, if you are so inspired, head over to Runde's Room and read about what it is she is using of mine :)


21 comments :

  1. I second, third, and fourth your recommendation. This is one of my all time favorite purchases on TpT!

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  2. I bought this interactive math journal. I love it! My kids are doing so well in math this year.

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  3. Great post and wonderful resource!

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  4. I also bought the her Interactive Math Journal a few months ago and my kids love love it. They are always asking for when they get to do another entry.

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    1. Amazing how one little change in the way you do things can really make things so much better for the kids! I am so glad you are having success with the journal.

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  5. Thank you for sharing! This is now on my wish list.

    Irene

    Learning With Mrs. Leeby

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    1. Since it is on sale now, I say rush over and get it! ;)

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  6. I read both yours and Jen`s post tonight and then promptly went over to TpT and bought both resources. I was planning to start more focussed teaching of paragraph writing this week and was planning my learning goals and Bump it Up board in my head when I saw your resource - I can`t wait to get started with it. I like how it is broken down into steps and how the format is consistent week to week. Thanks for the great resource.

    Looking From Third to Fourth

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    1. Well, I am glad we were able to inspire you :). I hope you like it and, if you have any questions, feel free to come back and ask :)

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  7. I couldn't agree with you more, this resource is absolutely amazing!!! I can't get over the impact Jen has had on my teaching....and that goes for you too my friend!

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    1. And we can add you to that list too :)

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  8. I bought it for myself and plan to use it and your calendar math next year as I work toward CCSS implementation. Guess what I'll be studying and organizing all summer!

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    1. If you ever have any questions about how to set it up et al....don't hesitate to come back and ask!

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  9. This product swap was excellent. I bought both of your products. You both did an amazing job with your reviews!

    My Journey to 5th Grade

    Julie

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  10. I also purchased Stephanie's Interactive Math Journal book, and I LOVE it!! It is such a great resource and worth every penny!! I highly recommend it if you are wanting to start using math journals in your class!!

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  11. I purchased Jen's Interactive Math Journal and both I and the kids LOVE it! I find them referring back to many of the foldables. I believe it really helps to cement their understanding -- the act of putting information down in an organized way truly helps them to understand and remember. Also, I agree about it being universal. I teach fourth grade and I've been able to adapt several of her foldables to work with my standards. And, YES, it has impacted all my other areas of teaching also. This is one of my favorite resources I've ever purchased. Definitely buy right away!

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  12. I absolutely love this resource (as you know). You and Jen have inspired me to be a better teacher. I'm just so thankful that I've "found" both of you through blogging. Have a great week, Stephanie!

    Elizabeth

    Fun in Room 4B

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  13. What a wonderful introduction! Thank you for the wonderful resources!

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  14. Stephanie,
    I just found your journal and I'm now following you! We use journals for almost every subject and the Runde's Interactive Journal is something I will have to look into. I would love for you to stop by my blog when you get a chance!
    Patti:)
    A Series of 3rd Grade Events

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  15. Stephanie,

    I purchased Jen's interactive math journal at the beginning of the summer and cannot wait to use it! I'm just wondering, do you have your students make their foldables and journal entries during your math rotations? Or do you take a separate time during the day to work on the interactive math journals?
    Thanks for all of your inspirations!

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