Writing in K-2 Math? Absolutely!

Why Use Math Journals?

  • In addition to learning the math, students must learn how to articulate their ideas.
  • In order to to get their ideas on paper, students must organize, clarify, and reflect on their thinking.
  • Students need the opportunity to organize and record their work without the structure of a worksheet.
  • They serve as a valuable assessment tool for the teacher, giving much insight into what a student understands how he/she approaces ideas, and what misconceptions he/she has.

A Good Math Journal Question...

  • Involves significant mathematics and are open-ended.
  • Provides multiple entry points, strategies, and recording techniques for differentiation.
  • May have more than one solution or a variety of ways to be solved.
  • Requires more than just remembering a fact or demonstrating a skill.
  • Provides opportunities for students to represent their ideas with models and written language.
  • Has clear, concise directions.
  • Provides an opportunity for students to move beyond what they already know and for the teacher to learn about each student and their thinking.

Journals Q & A

How often should I use math journals in my class?

  • It's really up to the teacher. It could be once per week or as an assessment of a learning unit. The important thing is to ensure that students are being given regular opportunities throughout the year to record their mathematical thinking in ways that make sense to them and share their thinking.

Can math journal tasks be revisited throughout the year?

  • Repeating or revisiting tasks allows students to engage with tasks at a deeper level. It will also show student growth across the year. The task could be introduced in whole group initially and then be put in a center later in the year.



Student examples and more information can be found at the link above.