That's a song reference -
I realized it might be obscure enough to lose most people.
I like pink, but only sometimes.
I have issues choosing a favorite color, because I'm very moody.
Right now, I think it's green,
but that's probably because I'm Spring Crazy and I can't wait for nicer weather.
I love the first month of every season.
The next two are just superfluous and make me appreciate the next season even more.
Anyway, pink isn't my favorite color. I just use a lot of it during math. I'll tell you why in a minute.
I love them
but when I say math notebooks, I mean something different than my school is wanting.
This is the way my school
On the right side, we have "Input". This is INformation that goes INto the notebook (and hopefully, the student). On the left side, we have "Output". This is where the student (hopefully) demonstrates that he or she has processed the information and uses it to do something.
It's similar to our science notebooks, which also follow the input/output format.
These are a few ways I've used my notebooks this year.
This is an entry about comparing numbers. On the input side, we wrote directions on how to compare numbers and made a simple foldable to help kids remember the symbols.
Why is the foldable pink?
To help kids remember this standard belongs in objective one (Number Concepts), which is also color coded pink.
Why do kids have to remember that objective one is pink?
"So next year, they'll remember that the number concepts in objective one are pink."
Why is this important?
No one knows.
|Sorry it's sideways.|
This is a sample of our place value entry.
Input: identifying the different components of the place value chart, as well as important place value vocabulary.
Output: Using a foldable to write a number on the place value chart, in words, and on the inside...
Expanded notation! Also known as one of the most difficult ideas ever. As you can tell by the foldable, this student struggled with naming the number in words. However, he did correct the expanded notation on the inside.
Simple way to assess, huh!
This is our entry about number lines. This should be yellow, because geometry and spatial reasoning is supposed to be yellow.
Why is the sentence strip pink?
Because I only had pink sentence strips.
Input: Identifying what a number line is and does. Also an awesome pull-out-able, expandable number line.
Output: Uses of number lines in everyday life, such as thermometers, rounding, bar graphs, and map scales.
However, I am still not crazy about this.
The way that I've used them in the past
which totally worked for me
is WAY more open-ended.
We put in information about new concepts
but mostly, we write about what we're thinking in math.
"I am understanding..."
"One way to solve this problem..."
"I am still confused about..."
"I used to think...but now I know..."
It provided an opportunity for students to identify areas of strength, compare different ways of solving a problem, and
most important to me
write about their thinking.
We learn so much more from explaining our thinking
than we do from doing the thinking in the first place.
If we can teach it,
we know it.
I know that I was no slouch in high school or college
when it came to math.
But I really really really understood the ideas of adding, subtracting, and manipulating fractions
when I had to teach it.
I had to understand it several levels deeper.
Combine this with the complex idea that is writing
working within a grammatical structure
making sure your ideas make sense
and suddenly, your ideas are taking a form that helps them make sense
even to the most struggling math student.
This kind of self-reflective writing really changed the way my kids thought about math -
as something to grow in, play with, and understand rather than just know and do.
So I've tried out this input/output business
as it was presented,
but I prefer less structured experiences,
and I'm going to start that again soon.
But, in case one of the samples helps you out
(there are benefits to this kind of notebook - it's just different than the other kind
and their are components of the two that are similar or overlap)
I wanted to share them.
Sometimes kids just need a place
to record what's what.
But, when I do more of those kinds of responses
which I like better for my purposes,
I will share them, too.
(You have to say this in a really excited voice, like you're singing a fun song from the 70s.)
1. What do you do to have students write about math?
2. Do you use input/output notebooks?