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The photos on the pages listed below offer some math instructional ideas.


Math Journals    



When beginning math journals, the teacher should make a journal entry to demonstrate the process several times. In the beginning ask, "What do we need to find out?" and then, "How do we figure it out?" Have several children repeat or retell the question. Then we figure it out, usually by drawing representations.


Use a spiral bound notebook for recording or drawing answers to problems. (A saw can be used to cut spiral bound notebooks in half for math journals.) This could be done during the regular math time, as part of the morning message, or as a Question of the Day when students enter the classroom. The question for the journal entry should be simple to begin with and get more difficult as the children's problem-solving skills improve. Children should be allowed to discuss the question with classmates if they want. The children's journal entries demonstrate their thinking processes. Each entry could first be shared with a "buddy" to encourage discussion and explanation; then one or two children could share their entries with the entire class. Don't forget to praise children for their thinking skills and their journal entries!


The following math journal ideas are suggestions from Libby and Terry (Calico Cookie) from Kinderkorner:


Draw some shapes.


Draw a triangle.


Draw the shapes you see in this picture.


Draw a pattern.


Draw a picture with a triangle in it.


Draw a picture using only triangles or squares.


Draw a page of diagonal lines all different colors.


The sun is above the house. Draw a triangle above a square.

The girl is next to the cat. Draw a circle next to a triangle.

You have two pieces of candy. Draw them. What color are they?

You have two pieces of candy. Draw them. Make them two different colors.

You have three pieces of candy. Draw them. Use only two colors for them.

How many legs are there on two horses. Draw it out.


There were two ducks in the pond but one went home to eat. How many were left? Draw your answer.

Fill in the missing number when counting by 2's.

Draw a wagon. Put 2 dogs and 3 people in the wagon. Teacher asks, "How many heads?  How many legs? How do you know?"

Practice writing your phone number. Write a friend's phone number.

Trace your hand. How many fingers? Write that number.

Trace both hands. How many fingers on both hands?

Draw everything in your school box. How many things are in there? How many of each thing are there?


I have a chocolate chip cookie and I want to share with my friend. Draw a picture of how I can share my cookie.

Draw yourself standing next to the door. Make sure your head is where it really should be in relationship to the door knob.

How many legs are in the classroom?

How many white shirts are being worn today? Make a graph.