Reflection: Lesson Planning Using Journaling to Create Lessons - Section 2: Active Engagement

Having the students respond "on demand" within a journal entry is one of my favorite ways to begin my unit mini-lesson plan.  I would have never have known all the ways my students attempt a problem by just giving them a page of division facts to solve. Make sure you look closely at these student work samples because the strategies demonstrate a wide range of student thinking.

For example, the girl in the second video walked herself through at least three different strategies to solve and check her work. If I hadn't conferred with her and had her journal response, my depth of knowledge of her understanding would be shallow.

Also, the journaling technique points out to the students themselves what they really understand, and areas that may pose confusion.  I highly recommend trying journal prompts at the beginning of each unit of study. Launching a unit without probing student understanding first is like searching a dark room without a light. You'll be stumbling around for some time before you find what you're looking for.

The Use of Journals to Assess
Lesson Planning: The Use of Journals to Assess

Using Journaling to Create Lessons

Unit 4: Understanding Division
Lesson 1 of 13

Big Idea: The students have been working on creating equal groups in order to make sense of multiplication. Now they will use that knowledge to work "backwards" and solve division equations.

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Standards:
Subject(s):
Math, Number Sense and Operations, word problems, division, math journaling, equal groups
40 minutes

Michelle Marcus

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