Even though I spent the weekend marking novel studies, and I realize my students still need work in responding to extended answer reading questions, my FREEBIE for today is another math creation. Along with interactive math notebooks, I have started using math journal prompts in my classroom. Many gifted students I have taught are able to compute quickly and are numerically competent BUT they are unable to express how they know something is correct, they have trouble "showing what they know".
I use math journals because I want my students to demonstrate their metacognitive skills. "Metacognition is defined by most as “thinking about thinking” or “knowing about knowing.” The term refers to the ways we reflect on how we know what we know, how we learned it, and how we can apply it to learning new things. Metacognition is essential to becoming an effective, independent learner. Writing about our learning is a powerful metacognitive strategy." (MTA Instructional Technology: http://bit.ly/10h44vh)
Not all my students have embraced writing this way. They tell me they "just know" the answers. I can understand where they are coming from but at the same time it is essential for them to practice and become better at writing about their learning. It has also been my experience that reading student math journals gives me a better picture of the whole student when I am assessing them. "Journals also serve as invaluable assessment resources that can inform classroom instruction. Reviewing a student’s math journal provides a useful insight into what a child understands, how s/he approaches ideas and what misconceptions s/he has."(K-5 math teaching resources: http://bit.ly/ZWpePj)
To download your own FREE copy of Math Journal Prompts just click on the image below to go to my TpT store.
Do you use math journals? What have the reactions of your students been?