Math journals are a tool that enable students to reflect upon and communicate their learning in math. They can be used with any grade level to help students demonstrate their comprehension, while applying mathematical strategies and thought processes. Journals encourage students to reflect upon mathematical processes while developing deeper understanding of math concepts. Finally, math journals are an important tool for teachers to use to gauge student comprehension.
Math journals are most effectively used when a teacher models the writing process and the language of mathematics. Through this modelling process, students gain the confidence and understanding necessary to become familiar with reflective writing in math. Once familiar with the mathematical language, and journaling process, they will begin to independently express their own thoughts on paper.
The following is an example of a Grade 1 Math journal question, taken from a Grade One sample outcome assessment.1
Math journal lesson (and journal prompt) examples:
- A List of Journal Prompt examples can be found by clicking here2.
- Demonstration Lesson Plan: Math Journaling Introduction for grades K-13.
- Demonstration Lesson Plan: Math Journaling Introduction for grades 2-44.
- Everything You Need to Know About Math Journals5.
1Sample Math Outcome Questions (Blackboard). (n.d.). Retrieved 18 December 2020, from https://www.edonline.sk.ca/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_2869_1&content_id=_355866_1
2.Journal Writing Prompts. EduGAINS.ca. Retrieved November 12, 2021 from http://www.edugains.ca/resourcesMath/CE/LessonsSupports/JournalWritingPrompts.pdf Can be downloaded directly from https://saskmath.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/journalwritingprompts.pdf.
3Demonstration Lesson Plan: Math Journaling Introduction Gr. k-1. Retrieved 17 December 2020, from https://14ya8m2rbwab136jlr1b929m-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/math-journal-intro-gr-k-1.doc
4Demonstration Lesson Plan: Math Journaling Introduction Gr. 2-4. Retrieved 17 December 2020, from https://14ya8m2rbwab136jlr1b929m-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/math-journal-intro-gr-2-4.doc
5Angela Watson. (n.d.). https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/math-journals/. Accessed 22 April 20200.