I have used math journals for a long time in First Grade. This past year in Kindergarten, I had a little difficulty starting them. My writing journals were no trouble to start, but for some reason I put off beginning my math journals until later int he year. When I finally did start them, once we completed a lot of modeling, it was great and my kids LOVED it!
Since tomorrow I am starting a 2 week long math workshop, I have been thinking a lot about how I do math journaling...and no doubt over the next couple of weeks I will have a lot more to share =)
Usually, I have my kids make the page into fourths (straight line down the middle and one across the "belt" of the page). I will make up a story and my kids will draw it at the same time. At the beginning of the year, we do it together, with me illustrating on the board. I "think" through the problem.... "Hmmm...what would that look like?"..."How could I show that?"...etc. After a while, they can do it independently. I usually don't mix up problems between subtraction and addition until both have been covered independently.
These are some examples of our math journals toward the end of the year with my Kinders. I like how different each person's illustrations are for the same problem.
We take time as a class to explore right and wrong answers, discussing how we got what we got....sometimes the wrong answers give us more information that the right ones =)
We don't always just do math stories, sometimes we explore numbers or answer daily questions...make patterns...and sometimes I let them write numbers. There are other times I will give them strips of paper with the problem written on it and they have to illustrate their solution (Mrs Wills has some great math journaling prompts you can find here!!).
They love to work in their math journals!
Do you have any ideas that work in your classroom for math journaling?