Notebooking has a stereotype with essay and writing work on paper. We rarely choose notebooking for mathematics and I think mathematics is the last subject in number for people incorporating notebooking in mathematics lessons. That might true, but it is not absolute. Incorporating the hands on mathematics, we still can use notebooking.
Ideas for Notebooking in Mathematics
Here are mathematics ideas to put into the notebooking activities:
- Statistical graphs or charts: data, terms, etc
- Fraction: equivalent blocks, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, greater/less
- Number operation picture or diagram with explanation
- Number family fact poster: number bonds
- Arts with mathematics, such as tangram, patterns, and geometry scaled pictures
- Mathematics glossary, vocabulary, or word study
- Mathematics learning journal
Journal is going to be very helpful to help learners to learn about learning. By writing journal, it is expected that learners could reflex what they have done about the lesson. Here are some examples of links for mathematics writing prompts:
Writing in Maths Class
- Problem solving strategy with explanation or drawing, both close and open ended
- Mathematics concept explanation, such as parts of a whole, volume,
- Biography of famous people in Mathematics
- Geometry 2D and 3D shape formula explanation
- Geometry 2D and 3D characteristics
- Using mathematic concept in real life situation. It can be personal experience or observation.
- Self-made mathematic graphic organizer or mini offices
- Timeline with self-made open ended questions
- Organizing daily time in charts/diagrams
- Place value, divisibility, kinds of numbers, kinds of fraction, factors/multiples, prime/composite number, area/volume concept, etc with mini books.
- Recording the calendar, weather, temperature, etc and make the data into statistic
- Mathematics manipulative records glued on notebooking pages. Small pieces of paper can be like counters.
- Creative writing using mathematics concepts.
- Writing down the hands on conclusion or process.
- Reading Maths living books and twisting the story into new ideas using self explanation.
Some interesting worksheets can be made as a moathematics notebooking page, but I prefer to avoid this. Once we classify the worksheets as a notebooking page, we have a tendency to loose our confidence to be more creative and open ended in doing mathematic notebooking.
This is a very useful set of tools to help learners drawing certain shapes representing one or many hands on things. We can use stencil rulers for statistic or pictograph, concept manipulation, and drawing 2D shapes in geometry.
As the function, compass is used not only to draw circles, but also triangles, angles, patterns, and graphs. Starting using compass, learners should practice holding and moving this tools. Please be careful with the younger learners when they touch the needle.
Sets of rulers
Triangles, protractors, and straight rulers are the main set of rulers needed for notebooking activities in mathematics. Some practice training learners using the rulers will make learners more familiar with using the rulers so that shorter time is needed for the activities. It means more result will be produced in the certain amount of time.
Transparent tape is needed for attaching counters on the paper. For counters, some small bites of origami paper, ice cream sticks, buttons, and other small things can be used. Unwind the transparent tape as needed and lie it with the sticky side upward. Put the small bites on the sticky side and stick the side on the page.
Scissors and glue
As the function, they are needed ultimately to cut and paste things on the paper. They are not only for mathematic, but also for other subject activities. Choose some glue that doesn’t make wrinkle on paper. The right size of scissors will get kids cut more easily.
It is used to keep and protect notebooking pages that have textures and manipulatives stuck on them so that they might be more protected and everlasting.
Square Grid Paper
Some mathematic topics need square grid paper to maintain tidiness and to get more accurate result. Most of the geometry topics and number operation or calculation explanation need square grid paper.
Some things to note in mathematics notebooking activities
- Doing and documenting worksheets are not always the same with notebooking activities as worksheets usually have exact answers which don’t show the creativities of learners.
- Drills on mathematics are needed to get learners used to the methods, but notebooking activities are needed to show learners’ understanding in concepts.
- Getting the ballance activities between notebooking, hands on, and drilling will support learners in learning Mathematics.
Notebooking activities might take time for some people, but it will be very useful for reviews and portfolio. Learners will have better understanding of concepts through the activities. It looks like it takes longer time, but it is everlasting in their head.