Monday, August 05, 2013

Monday Mentor - Setting up Notebook

Last week I showed you how I set up the student binders. Another thing we do at the beginning of the year is set up our Math Notebooks. Like a lot of you, we use the marbled composition notebooks for this purpose. The school provides us one for each student, so I can save a little money there.

The first thing I have them do is decorate the cover with ways they use numbers (photos, stickers, magazine ads, etc). This year I am going to follow the advice of Mrs. Hawk's Nest by hot gluing a ribbon into the back of their books so they can mark their place. So often they just flip to any old page and start working. I am WAY too OCD for that. I want the work to move chronologically through the book, so if I want to refer to something we've done in the past, I have them just open to that date.

I break the composition book into two sections. If you close the book and hold it up so you can see the top of all the pages, you'll notice a definite hole that marks the middle of the book. I have the students open to this page. We dog-ear (fold down) that page and make a chapter header for our 'Calendar' section. This is where they will complete all of their calendar activities during our Math block.

The front section is used for problem solving. I have them paste in a copy of the C.U.B.E.S. method that I found over at Elizabeth's site Fun in Room 4B. You can go to that link and grab your's for FREE!

I then print out a math exemplar related to the topic of study that week and have them go through the C.U.B.E.S. method to help them organize their thinking. You can actually purchase these exemplars by the set in my TpT store.

Just in case you were curious. 

It helps me to keep all of their work in one place for CRCT review future reference. Plus they can see the progression of their knowledge throughout the year. 

We have a section set aside in our binders for our interactive notes. They can flip through that to help them support their explanations when writing about their solutions. 

Leave me a comment below and let me know how you use your math notebooks!

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