Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Math Interactive Notebooks

For the past two years I have taught one general education class called Math Explore. It is for 2nd grade students who are "slow learners" or need smaller group instruction to be successful with the math curriculum. My first year I felt was not as successful as I would have liked it to be, so I came up with this idea to try out Math Interactive Notebooks.

I decided that this needed to be as hands-on as possible, so I would need some materials. I wrote a grant that included a binder for each students, Dinah Zikes Big Book of Elementary Math K-6, felt, construction paper, and die cuts. My grant was funded and my math interactive notebooks were born. It took a lot of organization to begin with, but turned out to be a great endeavor. I ended up writing a second grant to purchase additional diecuts.
Photo rights http://www.flickr.com/photos/jkfid/

So here is what each 3-ring binder included:
Sections divided by SOL (VA Standards of Learning)
A freezer bag with packing tape on the side, then 3-hole punched so it would fit in the binder
Lots of hands on activities, foldables, games, worksheets, etc that the students developed throughout the year.

Some of the activities I came up with myself, some came from some of the blogs I stalk and others from books like Big Book of Elementary Math and Hands on Math (K-1 and 2-3).

I used diecuts from Ellison and Accucut.

All in all I felt like I could have organized the notebooks a different way as it seemed difficult for the students to figure out where to put things, but the project showed tremendous growth. My students were so excited to take the binders home and I received lots of compliments from parents. As part of my grant I had to identify how I would determine success so I used our end of the year math test for 2nd grade. My first year with the math explore program I had a 33% pass rate (passing is considered 80% or higher in our school) and with the notebooks..... 79% pass rate. I was so excited to see that number.

Now I wish I had pictures to share, but of course I can't find them. I did have each student share their favorite part by using my flip camera to tape them. I plan to use that information to decide which activities to include and ditch for next year.

So, now that I have typed a short novel.... have you used interactive notebooks for anything? How did you organize them?


** Since writing this I have added a Pinterest board dedicated to foldables. Check it out!**


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