Why do we have to write in Math?

As I was sitting in a Kindergarten meeting this week, the teachers were talking about Math Journals. I hadn't really heard of Math Journals before, especially for Kindergarten. So, the first things I did was to ask my co-worker Melissa Edwards if she had any resources for Math Journals and I went on Twitter to ask for help from my Twitter PLN.

I wanted to share some blog posts about Math Journals and what a couple of my Twitter friends said about the way they use Math Journals.

Math Journals Blog

Reflections Journals in Math Class by Matt Coaty (@MCoaty1)

Math Journals by Terry Tunkel

Setting up Math Problem-Solving Notebooks by Kathryn

Here is what a couple of Twitter friends said about Math Journals:

@CaraSJohnson said: "We use them in our class. The students glue in the prompt that I have printed out. I try to focus on problem solving skills."

@Mr_Fines said, "It starts off simple - writing a number and illustrating it. Writing a number word, or drawing a shape and writing the shape "word'. As the year progresses I'll put a problem on the document camera. It could be a number line with 2 or 3 numbers missing and they write the missing numbers. When they get to addition i may put 1+1 on the board and they draw it. We draw our numbers with lines for 10's and small circles for 1's. I may have them represent a number like 12 - they draw 1 line and 2 small circles. The possibilities are endless really. I did it every day "before" we did math as a cue that it is math time in our room."

What I learned from reading about Math Journals is that even Kindergartners can create a journal. The journal doesn't have to be all written words. It could be pictures, math problems, etc. I liked the idea of having math prompts, just as you would in Language Arts. I have always thought that by writing things down it is easier to remember them. So, why not write in Math to remember new concepts?

Do you use Math Journals in your classroom? If not, how could you use Math Journals in your classroom?

Image: 'Journal Writing II' http://www.flickr.com/photos/10485077@N06/4530922906

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