As students are greeted and enter class, they pick up the following items from the bookshelf (which is the procedure taught day 1):
1. blank journal
2. a list of 8th grade math academic vocabulary
3. an envelope
On the tables are rulers and glue sticks for the students to use as we assemble their journals.
Students begin their journal set-up by gluing the academic vocabulary list (see resources below) on the inside front cover of their journals. This will eventually serve as an index. By putting it on the inside of the front cover, the pre-printed resources on the back inside cover of their journals (multiplication charts, unit conversions, etc.) remain for student use.
Next, student will number the first 50 pages of their journals. I have them number the front and back of the page. Once they have numbered the pages, I tell them to use the rulers to divide the first thirty pages (15 fronts and backs) into fourths. This is the warm-up section of their journal. Warm-up problems are done four days per week, so there will be one box for each warm-up during the week. See Day Three lesson for what happens in place of warm-ups on Wednesday every week!
I give each student a small plastic tab (e.g. post-it flag) to divide the warm-up section from the second half of their journal: Work section and notes.
While students are numbering their journal pages, I am sending around a black Sharpie marker for them to write their first and last names and time block (hour) on the journal cover.
Once students glue in the academic vocabulary list, number the first 50 pages, divide the first 15 pages (front and back) into fourths, and put a tab on page 31, they are ready to create the second section of their journals: Notes and daily work.
I ask them to title page 31 "Notes and Daily Work" and explain that during work time each day, they should record their work in this section of their journal.
The final step in journal set-up is gluing an envelope on the back page. The envelope serves as a pocket to hold work in progress, sorting pieces, or other loose items that will be used in subsequent days. I've learned through trial and error to make sure students glue the envelope in the journal with the opening flap folded backwards and the opening facing the spine of the journal. That way, when the journal is closed, nothing is likely to fall out! (See picture)
Once the students have finished putting their journals together, I spend the remainder of the class reviewing procedures from the day before and practicing journal procedures.
Journals stay in the math class at all times, so I also introduce and we practice picking up journals at the end of class. At each table, a small construction cone (see photo) indicates each table number and each chair number. The chair numbers correspond to a given task each quarter.
Seat 1 is the journal monitor. They are responsible for neatly stacking the journals at their table. Seat 2 is the folder monitor (see Wednesday's lesson). Seat 3 is the materials monitor and is responsible for gathering additional materials, if needed, for the lesson (e.g., rulers, glue sticks, game pieces). Seat 4 is the task monitor. It is that student's responsibility to keep his/her table peers on task and on schedule by watching the timer and checking the objectives are being met.
Every two weeks, I select three students: One from tables 1, 2 & 3, another from tables 4, 5 & 6, and a third from tables 7 & 8. These students serve as my journal collectors and they are responsible for picking up the journals from their respective tables' journal monitors and putting them in the appropriate bin on the journal cart (see photo). I also train them to get the next class's journal bin and place it on their table. For example, Mari will pick up journals from tables 1, 2, and 3 and place them in the first red bin. She will then take the first green bin full of journals and put it on her table for those students in the next hour to retrieve when they enter class. This procedure spreads out the journals so they are quickly and efficiently collected and retrieved instead of a log jam occurring at the journal cart.
Once students have mastered the journal procedures, we play the name game from Day One.