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Friday, September 7, 2012

Keeping a Math Notebook.

This link, via this blog post by my friend Mama Squirrel, has got me thinking about math notebooks. I hadn't even really thought about how what we have already been doing is so awesome! We already use a notebook for math! ...and it's all 'cause of MEP math.

Don't you love it when that happens?!

Now, when we used other math curriculums, we printed out pages or the kids filled in a workbook. I'm guessing that's probably the road most traveled when it comes to math.

But thanks to MEP, we use a workbook, called a 'practice book' AND a notebook, called an 'exercise book'. The practice book has all the problems printed out which are then to be worked out in the exercise book (we use a notebook w/ graph paper). But lots of times, there's stuff that needs to be remembered. That all goes in the exercise book too.

Take today for instance. In our math lesson today, we talked about the square root of numbers and calculated the surface areas of a cuboid, a square-based cuboid and a cube.

We looked at some in real life cuboids, looked at some diagrams (via the copy masters!), worked it all out, and summed up the ensuing formulas. The square roots and the formulas were then copied into their notebooks (exercise books).

Last week, my year 2 student, learned about the calendar, how many days are in each month, etc. After her lesson, she copied down the months of the year into her math exercise book! It's now there for reference. I love this.

Because the math lesson usually takes about 20-40min per student, they do their math 'copywork', if there is any, directly following the lesson, and then later return to do the math page in their practice books.  It works really well.

Other things to record in a math notebook:
Names and descriptions of shapes.
Formulas for calculating area & volume.
Days of the week.
Months of the year with number of days per month.
Multiplication facts.
Addition facts.
Conversion charts - Metric to Imperial
Meter -> centimeter -> millimeter.


Mrs.K said...

Hi Amy! Love the notebook idea. I have been thinking about using MEP with my older daughter who struggles with math. She's 15. I'm hoping it will be a good fit. When I saw your graph paper notebook, I thought - what a great idea! So I bought one! Thanks for sharing how you do the math notebooks.

Mama Squirrel said...

Hello and thanks for the link!  I don't want to be a bother, but I still do go mostly by my blog name, so if you wouldn't mind...Thanks!

"mama squirrel"

Bergenholtz Family said...

We have been doing this for a while, too.  I never thought about showing our math notebooks, but I suppose it is different and a good idea for people to see.  I love the idea of using graph paper, especially for my dysgraphic/dyscalculia students! Thanks for the reminder.

Amy said...

Great post! I have a few questions. First, do your children write in the practice book at all? I'm curious, because they seem to be designed to be written on. Second, how is the practice book in the picture bound, and is it still 1/2 size like you mentioned in your previous post? I've used MEP in the past, but have struggled to implement it smoothly.

amyinperu said...

absolutely! basically in MEP, the 'exercise' book goes along with the 'practice book' and is for:
:: writing out definitions and/or drawings to help remember a concept, :: practice problems that you do together from the teacher's lesson plan; these are in addition to what is in the practice book
:: working out the problems when there's no room in the practice book (some people print out these one-sided to work problems on the back... i don't do that)


Amanda Vines said...

Amy! I know this is an old post, and I've read it several times ( I always go back to yours and Jeanne's posts about MEP when I'm needing an MEP boost! ) We have used a composition notebook this past year (year 3) but didn't use it enough. I could just continue in it but I'd love to get a graph paper one to use for year 4. I can't find the brand you have shown in the post. Is that local to you or did you order it? I saw on Richele's blog (the one who wrote the SCM maths guide) links to several waldorf suppliers. I'm trying to avoid that route. If you can let me know the type/where you purchased that would be great!

amyinperu said...

@Amanda, in Peru graph paper notebooks are common, so that's where I got mine. :) I'm sure you've probably looked in Walmart? That'd be the first place I'd look. If you find something, and you remember, please feel free to come back here to let us know what you find. :)

Amanda Vines said...

I found something at Target during the school supply sales- I almost never go to Wal-mart, so I have not checked there. The ones at Target though seem to be a smaller grid size than the ones Richele linked to. We'll see how they work! :)

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