As a new teacher I wanted to see the perfect 3rd grade math journal example. My first few years I randomly used the math journal as an afterthought and bits and pieces of different lessons were scattered throughout the journals. Then I decided to become intentional and created my own lessons to use with my students organized by the standards. Check out the 3rd grade math journal example I developed below.
The Components Per Lesson
- Practice Problems
- Independent Practice
3rd Grade Math Journal Table of Contents
The table of contents should be at the beginning of the math journal. Reserve 2-4 pages for this section by setting the journal up as a class. Write Table of Contents at the top of each page. Then divide each page into three columns. The middle column should be larger than the outer columns. Labels the columns Date, Title, and Page Number. This may seem unnecessary, but the table of contents helps keep the journals more organized and teaches students to view it as their personalized math textbook.
3rd Grade Math Journal Vocabulary/Examples
Along with the vocabulary and examples, I suggest including the standard and I can statement for easy reference. Students should always know what they are learning. This section of the 3rd grade math journal examples is mostly completed for students. That way if they were absent or struggle with copying from the board, they have an accurate and complete example to serve as a reference for future parts of the lesson.
3rd Grade Math Journal Practice Problems
The practice problems help students explore the standard and new strategies. We typically discuss these problems as a class, but I let students practice solving them with a partner then we review the strategy as a whole group before students move on to the next question. This section is two to three questions and reinforces the new strategy learned for the standard.
3rd Grade Math Journal Independent Practice
The independent practice allows students to practice standard by themselves. I suggest included multiple activities for this so you can differentiate for your students. A sort or match center game may be best for your students that need more support while your higher-level students would benefit from a critical thinking misconception task. I used this time to pull a group to work with that I noticed struggled during the practice problems.
The Benefits of Following This 3rd Grade Math Journal Example
- Becomes a great resource for parent conferences and RTI meetings
- Students can use the math journal as a reference during centers or at home for homework
- Your admin team will love seeing a collection of your lessons during their walkthroughs
- Easy to differentiate and meet the needs of all your students
My Favorite Items to Use with Math Journals
- Bright Paper-I love using bright paper in the math journal because it makes it seem more special than a boring worksheet and it’s fun to color code by domain. Blue for Multiplication, red for fractions, ect. The Astrobrights Color Paper is my favorite!
- Erasable Pens-Erasable pens are amazing! I love using the different colors in my teacher math journal as I share steps and examples with the class. I previously used the Flair brand pens but hated making mistakes and the hassle of whiteout. The Pilot Frixion Erasable pens work great and are a must in any math class.
- Paper Cutter-Not sure what I did without my paper cutter. It saves so much time and keeps everything straight. I like to pass out the parts of a lesson one at a time, so nothing gets lost. Often, I’ll cut the pages of the journal up first to make it easier and more efficient for the class. This paper cutter is cute and just the right size for a classroom.
Download your FREE 3rd Grade Math Journal Example
You can download a free 3rd grade FL BEST place value math journal lesson from start to finish here.
There is also a BUNDLE option available for you to check out if you what to start using math journals in your classroom.
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