Saturday, April 6, 2013

Interactive Math Journals (Action Research)

I have been implementing interactive math journals in my class this year. I use these journals as a place for my students to take guided notes, participate in in-class activities, and have concrete examples of formulas or processes to math equations. I started journaling with my class in October and I have noticed a lot of student successes this year.
  • Students using their journals to help with homework before asking a teacher for help!
  • Students taking guided notes to increase understanding
  • Students synthesizing what they learned
I am starting to look at student journals and correlating their notes to their test scores. Ultimately, I am hoping that students will have a better, deeper understanding to fifth grade math. I am hoping by having students participate in this assignment, students will carry this knowledge over from year to year. I don't want my students to forget everything they learned while they are on summer vacation.

On the last two tests, ALL of my students have scored 80% or higher!!! I hope their high scores are from deeper understanding of the concepts by using the interactive math notebooks.

Things that I would do differently for the future are:
  • make students write in pen. The pencil has been smearing on some of my students notebooks. I am hoping for next year to use different colored pens instead of markers too. (I found some GREAT ones at Wal-Mart. a 10 pack of every color under the rainbow for $1.98)
  • Use spiral 3-5 subject notebooks. The composition notebooks work okay, but after gluing a lot of extra materials in, the notebooks no longer close.
  • Have my students ALWAYS use the same page number as my example. Some of the kiddos have a hard time following directions... well their notebooks are a MESS!

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