Saturday, May 4, 2013

Abstract-Interactive Math Notebooks

Does the amount of effort put into an Interactive Math Journal correlate with test scores?
Heather Smith
Otsego Elementary School, Otsego, MN

As a fifth grade teacher, I was curious how the use of interactive math journals would effect my students test scores. The goal is to show that by having my students complete various hands on activities, take guided notes, and reflect upon their learning, their test scores would increase. I looked at chapter math tests and also the final MCA test results.

At the beginning of the year, I gave each of my students a composition notebook and explained that these were their math journals. Throughout the year, when I would teach a new skill or strategy, the students would take guided notes, or copy my procedure into their notebooks and reflect on their learning after the lesson. These lessons usually included some type of hands on manipulative they had to glue into their notebook. Students were encouraged to take their math journal home to help with homework.

After participating in interactive math journal activities for 6 months, I noticed my students referencing their journals when they were stuck on a complicated problem. I also noticed an increase in the class average on each test that was taken.

I collected ten students interactive math journals and I have graded their entries on an effort rubric. I then looked at these ten students, who were selected randomly, and looked at their test scores to see if the amount of effort put into the reflection correlated with their test score. ***I am still collecting data to report results on. ***

1 comment:

  1. This is pretty exciting to hear that your students were going back to reference their notebooks! I have a hard time with students wanting help with a problem, but don't look at their notes prior to raising their hand. I always reference them back to their notes, making a note that we did a question just like that one. Once they have found a similar questions they usually have the "Oh yea" comment. I would love for them to do this on their own and maybe this is a way to do that, but I have to figure out how it would work in a flipped classroom (which is what I am going to try next school year).