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Math Journals

January 26, 2010

I first learned of the idea of “Math Journals” from Mrs. Mikesell’s website a few years ago. I could never quite figure out how to schedule it into my day until this year. My kids come into the classroom in the morning and complete calendar folders, but when they are done- why not do some math review and practice? With the strong focus on literacy skills in kindergarten, it is hard to find time for math practice, but practice and application is so important in the math development of these children.

Therefore I started math journals as a first thing in the morning activity. Basically, how it works is as follows:

  1. The kids have a composition notebook they store in their cubbies. Each morning, they take out the notebook and take a math prompt off my teacher table.
  2. The math prompts can be related to anything we have worked on this year. It is always review, not new material. I print out 20 of the same prompt and then cut them out. The kids have to glue them into their math journal.
  3. Each child takes a prompt, glues it in his or her book and then begins working on it. Most students cannot read the prompts themselves, but I read them for a few kids and then eventually everyone knows what it says.
  4. Each child solves the problem at his or her own level. For some this means drawing a picture, some will write, and others will add a number sentence to the story (if it applies).

Some examples:

I will also attach some of the math journal prompts I have made up for kids. I hope they are helpful to some of you!



3 Comments leave one →
  1. Cristina permalink
    January 26, 2010 11:06 pm

    The 7th and 8th grade math teacher that I am working with has just started math journals and really likes it. She has the students explain the answer in both numbers and words. I am working on bringing them into my science classroom. The technology teacher has a program that allows students to submit journal entries online and I’m looking into this. How great would it be to not have to deal with papers (and worry about loosing them) and to go green at the same time!

  2. February 5, 2010 10:28 pm


    i love the idea of math journals

    it’s like combining numbers with arts

    which makes math a little less boring or more enjoyable for students

    great blog!

    cheers and happy blogging 🙂


  1. Journaling in Math Class? | Educational Aspirations

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