I was reading the boards at 4 Real today and came across the question of Math Journaling posed by Dawn of by Sun and Candlelight….once again it was a post that I was already working on, so I polished it up a bit and I will share my answer here. I hope it is of some use to you and that you will share your thoughts and ideas on it too!!
We have gotten Math Journals from Eta Cuisenaire for the kids so they would actually USE them…I tried graph paper and 1/2 lined with a space for drawing…but mostly they just fell apart. Anyone could probably do this very well, but I needed something bound so….when I purchased these they were always stacked with the school stuff and it was something ‘official’ in their eyes…worked like a charm.
What did we use these for?
We would use them for any and all kinds of math explorations!
We used a lot of LIVING MATH books and Marilyn Burns books. There are more ideas here.
They would often record math explorations out of those books or use them as a springboard into real life.
….like graphing how many snap-cubes (or match box cars) long is the baby and each family member and graphing the results
….using Venn diagrams to compare the samples of those who like vanilla those that like chocolate and those who like both or neither kind of ice cream…(BTW ice cream is a great motivator…haha)
Once my ds measured the perimeter of our house and graphed his results on graph paper and made a proposal for how much bigger his room could be taking into account the local building codes…if it sounds complicated, it isn’t. ~especially when it was something that grasped his immagination and he decided to run with it…journal in tow.
His younger brother decided to measure out with a long measureing tape how long his favorite whale was based on our house size and included that into his drawing…"way cool!" says mom!
Then….share the results with dad when he gets home…encourage dad to have deep discussions as to how information can change based upon different elements changing…etc…ask "I wonder what would happen if…" questions!
Get the idea?…it is this and much more…it is for having FUN! Find what they are interested in and go with it and make it more of a Math Adventure…Have them record new math terms, different kinds of charts and graphs, problem-solving tips, and math jokes too!
This is a clever way of getting them to think deeper about what is in front of them.
Another thought that I am working on is for my math-minded son, young Edison (10). I am going to have him write his own math adventure that can be elaborated upon in his journal and then have him work on the problems with his brothers and sisters in theirs…a case of one child enlightening another on a new case..a new adventure that just begs to be solved…stay tuned for the results!!
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