This is one of the times I feel very grateful to have connections to both the public school and homeschool community. Excitement bubbles in the homeschool world over lapbooks (we do an "on-steroids" version called

Portfolders), closely followed by notebooks, where students demonstrate learning through student-made folders, foldables and creative notebook pages. Some homeschoolers focus specifically on math. Recently, I've seen a lot of fabulous information on teacher blogs about using journals/notebooks in the context of math. Since we are using math notebooks this year, I'm enjoying...

1. Designing our journal covers

I love

this idea. This teacher had her students design journal covers using "Math About Me." Students used numbers, pictures, word problems, etc. to represent themselves mathematically. In an upcoming post, I'll share ours...along with some fun extensions.

2. Basic Journal Pages

I'm using blacklines from the

Bridges Math Journal as pages. The bulk of the pages are centimeter grid paper which makes it helpful when we're doing math problems, drawing graphs, making diagrams, etc. The back of the journal includes visuals in a blank math glossary (designed for students to fill in) which matches the

Word Resource Cards that we use. I'm going to have my student refer to the visual glossary and the Word Resource Cards whenever we add vocabulary to the journal.

3. We'll use flaps, foldables and other interactive models.

In our Portfolders, we use a lot of flips and flaps to demonstrate learning in fun, interactive ways. Dinah Zike is the Queen of Foldables and has many great resources, including

Big Book of Math and

Notebook Foldables. Some of these are displayed at

Simply2ndResources.

So what exactly are math journals/notebooks for? We'll be using them to...

- Write our own definitions of math vocabulary used in our daily lessons.
- Demonstrate our understanding of math using pictures, numbers, diagrams, etc...
- Refer back to math concepts that we explored earlier in the year. We'll continue to add to our knowledge by revising and adding to what we've already written.
- Provide ample opportunity to write in the context of math.
- Explore problem solving in creative ways, often using children's books.
- Look at math in many settings: daily life, historical, games & more

These are other places I'll be visiting!

Runde's Room
Jimmie on Math Notebooking
Math Journals Boost Real Learning
I'll be back soon with examples from our notebooks! Would you like to share yours?