I Don't Like the Math Book
11152009, 03:15 AM


I really dislike using the math book, so this year I have used Interactive Student Notebooks to teach the standards. I usually take 24 days to teach an element. One or two days is a handson, exploratory lesson. Another day (or two) will be focused practice on the skill. The last day is for student response in the notebooks.
I use the math book for the focused practice. Once or twice a week I assign a mixed practice set of problems that I create. These are pulled from everything we have learned through the whole year. On Wednesdays I give a cummulative quiz. The quiz and the practice set give me my required two grades per week. Additionally, I use the results to pull small groups for remediation. OUr district has mandated tests and performance tasks, so I use these as my summative assessments.
Our notebooks are divided into units based on the curriculum designed by my district. At the beginning of each unit, I have the students glue in a list of the standards and elements for that unit. I write a procedure sheet or chart for each element that is glued to the left hand side of the notebook. At the bottom of these sheets I write out the element it relates to. On the right hand side, my students reflect on their learning. They can write about the procedure, create a new problem, or use a chart or diagram. They have come to really enjoy notebook days.
I encourage the students to use their notebooks frequently. I am really excited about how well the students are mastering some very challenging Math concepts.
Of course, I have a couple of students who just need more scaffolding in order to be successful. I have been especially frustrated with two students who continue to struggle with 2digit mulitplication. I have worked with them in small groups at least five times, yet they still fall back into their incorrect ways of working these problems. (They treat them like addition  multiply the ones times the ones and the tens times the tens.) So this week, I am going to have them make new right hand pages for their notebooks. We will tape these in over the old pages and flag them so that the students will be able to locate them quickly. (I originally taught them 3 different methods for multiplying, but have focused on just one in our small groups. At this point I am going to insist that they use the lattice method as that breaks the paradigm of how that problem is set up. Sorry, TMI.)
Sorry to be so longwinded, but I've been working on this the past 14 weeks, so I'm pretty pumped up about the notebooks.
