I don’t think there is a better way to get inside the minds of students than with the structured use of journals. Not just in terms of their ability or content knowledge but also you see their habits of mind. You learn so much about who this student is and how they naturally think about a problem.
Math Coach, Daves Avenue Elementary School, Los Gatos, CA
How Journals Help Students
Reflective journals provide a place for students to work out and revise their thinking about a problem, record classmates’ ideas that provided new insights, summarize the lesson and reflect, at the end of each lesson, on how their thinking changed and what they learned.
Journals allow students to:
- Revisit what they learned in prior lessons
- See the growth in their own mathematical knowledge and practices
- Appreciate the value of classmates’ ideas
- Develop the habit of reflecting on how and why their thinking changed–so they become metacognitive.