Journaling in Math Classes?

Discussion in 'High School' started by TxMaThTeAcHeR, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. TxMaThTeAcHeR

    TxMaThTeAcHeR Rookie

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    Aug 4, 2009

    Hi guys!
    I just have a quick question... I have been hearing a lot about journaling in high school classes, and was wondering if anyone has tried it in a high school math class? I am a high school math teacher and was wondering if it worked at all or what your results were and how you did it.
    Also, I am wondering about any rewards systems you used in your classroom and the successes or failures of it... I am trying to decide what is going to work best!
    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2009
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  3. passion4math

    passion4math New Member

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    Aug 5, 2009

    Journaling in HS classes???
    Sounds interesting. Please let me also know...
     
  4. LMath85

    LMath85 Companion

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    Aug 5, 2009

    For our curriculum, one assessment included is for students to write a letter to a student who was absent outlining what they missed in class. Is this what you mean? You could simply ask the students a question that you went over in class and ask them to explain it in their own words. Could also go the route of giving them two problems - one which is correct and one which is incorrect and they have to explain why they picked the answer. This could be done at the end of class as a wrap-up which could be discussed in class.
     
  5. TxMaThTeAcHeR

    TxMaThTeAcHeR Rookie

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    That's kind of what I'm talking about. In some of the ACP classes I have taken, the people in charge have been talking about having a Journal for each student and having them do journaling like once or twice a week about something they learned, didn't understand, and they are kept in the classroom for the teacher to go through... I was just wondering if anyone had tried this/had any success with it? Also, any reward systems?
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 18, 2009

    Several math teachers at my school have students journal during the bellringer activity. Some teachers make it content-specific by asking students to use words (and good grammar, spelling, etc.) to describe a particular process or something. Other teachers make it more 'general' by asking students to write about some interesting topic or answer a thought-provoking question.

    I have had students journal in my Latin classes. I normally ask them to spend about 10 minutes writing about a topic that I choose. Sometimes I'm very specific, like 'Imagine that humans lived underwater instead of on land. How would the world be different?' Other times I'm much more general like 'Write one page about relationships,' or 'Write one page about anything you like.'

    I think that all students benefit from writing, regardless of the subject area.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 18, 2009

    Thought of a few more things:

    I collected the journals after about 10 or so. This urged students to a) do the work when they were supposed to, and b) stay organized. I didn't make these journals worth a whole lot because they weren't content-based.

    You could also have students journal at the end of the period as a Ticket Out the Door. I have done this in the past, where I've asked students to write me either one question they still have, one thing they learned, or one general comment. Sometimes I make them pick two out of the three or even do all three. I get very interesting responses which help me address holes in my teaching and reteach when appropriate. If you do this, you would want to collect the journals every day and read them right away so that you could address them in the next class.
     
  8. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

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    Aug 18, 2009

    I'm going to do something this year in my math classes called Thought Questions. They will be assigned on Fridays as weekend homework (since I won't give other homework on Fridays). Students will be asked to write at least a 1/2 - 3/4 page response on whatever topic I've chosen. Topics will correspond to things that we've been learning in class, but are interesting and require thought. For example, while studying geometric solids, the question could be something about their opinion of how the Egyptian pyramids could have been built, given their size/volume. Or whatever. I'll try to choose things that may have been mentioned in class, but not had time to discuss.

    I taught a course this summer at CTY and used daily Thought Questions. Though some students had weak answers with little thought, many really enjoyed and it got them to think about math-related topics that weren't solely computational tasks.
     

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