# Math Notebook Part 2: Plans for this year

So last night when I was working on my #msSunFun post I couldn’t get the pictures that I wanted to post working and I was very frustrated with technology in general, so I ended up with a pretty bland post.  I thought I would go back and give it a shot (crossing my fingers that the pictures work) and talk about some plans I have for this year, as well as specifics I did last year.

Like I said yesterday, I started off the year allowing students to use whatever method of organization they wanted.  We typically did several examples together as a class and several practice problems on their own.  In the middle of the year, I had the kids switch to notebooks.  My favorite part, and what I think was the most effective part, was that I made a single note sheet for each lesson that I taught.  This way students only needed to go back to that one page for reference.  Here is an example of what we typically did:

After taking these notes, we would continue to work with the information by practicing on whiteboards or doing an activity.  The notes portion did not take very long.  Notice the 2 color system that I also talked about yesterday.  The problem is in one color and the work and answer is in a second.

I also did several lessons that involved post its.  Middle school students love post its.  Use them whenever possible.

The first page was on exponent rules, then basic writing and graphing inequalites, and finally translating variables into math.  I am for sure doing this activity though for variables and math this year.  No post its for the kids that day!  Maybe I can do some sort of fancy flip up the number sign with the words underneath.  Hmmm…  By the way, how much do you guys love seeing my shadow for the pictures?  I will work on that.

Finally, here some notebook ideas that I have found this summer that I am very excited to use this year.

Transformations- I am probably most excited to do this activity.  I think the kids will get a kick out of the movable parts and it will really help them understand the differences.

Surface Area-  This is another amazing idea.  I love that the net is partially glued into the notebook so that it can fold back into the shape so they can see it.

Slope-  I love that this combines 3 ways to find slope so the students can see how they are similar and different.  Then they are all together in one place, too.

Formulas-  I guess I’m probably not putting this in the notebooks, instead I plan to put them in a page protector so students can write the numbers right on the variables.  Either way, I am so excited to do this.  I think it will be huge for visual learners.  I also think that there are many students who just don’t understand what substituting a number in for a variable actually means.  And as I write this, I am thinking I will probably do this for solving equations, too.  Maybe more on that later!

Coordinate Plane Battleship- Love.  Period.  So fun.

This is just a tiny little peek into some of the great things I found that I want to try this year.  I am honored to be a part of such an amazing group of educators!