Math Journals in Kindergarten

Today was the day. We started our math journals.....FINALLY! I keep feeling like I have waited too long (and I probably did) but today was the day we got our journals out and started recording. It actually comes at a perfect time because I have started experimenting with NUMBER TALKS too and it was just a continuation of our conversation from earlier in the day. We definitely packed a lot into our hour of math today!! 

Math journals do not have to be intimidating just because you teach kindergarten. I don't mean that in a negative way...I promise....but I have had this conversation with many kindergarten teachers and the consensus is that it would be too overwhelming to implement. I am here to tell you it can happen in 10-15 minutes every day. Really! Here is how we started today...

First up is introducing expectations. I showed them their bright shiny new journals and we talked about why we were using these journals. I told them this was a place we would be talking about numbers and solving problems. We start our journals with a simple "grab and count" activity where we count a handful of items and record them. Today we all got the same number of items but later in the week they will be grabbing their own number of items. 

Students were given 3 plastic pieces of fruit and we discussed recording our items to show what we counted. We highlighted the fact that we need to record them on the paper because we can't glue these down.....that would be silly!
Today we circled and colored our items but we will move into a more abstract representation soon. Eventually I want them to just draw circles without tracing or drawing exact replicas to represent their thinking.

Our final result. Pretty impressive for a 10 minute activity! We will continue to grow from here in the coming days/weeks! 

That's how we start out our math journals in kindergarten. I have my whole routine put together here in these math journal lesson plans. They include lesson plans, problems, and journal covers to help make the transition easier. 

Thanks for stopping in today! Have a great week!