I am so excited by the enthusiasm my students have expressed regarding their math journals. They practically beg me to put a resource in...particularly a foldable. Funny how 5th graders enjoy cutting and pasting. I actually heard a few students cheer, when I said we were going to be putting a foldable in our journals one day last week :) Usually the only cheers I hear is when I say it's time for lunch or recess, lol!
This is the first year I've incorporated math journals into my math class. And like anything, I've learned a lot along the way. When I decided to take the leap, I went out and purchased 53 - 17 cent notebooks from Walmart. I designed a cover for the kids to color and glue onto the front. I was impressed with how creative my students were. Their covers were marvelous. Those same covers, however, did not stick to the glossy notebook cover...who would have thought, right? In addition, some kids have accidentally skipped pages, screwed up a page, etc. All this, of course, throws the Table of Contents off and disrupts the flow of the notebook.
So...my thoughts for next year...
Buy paper folders (not the vinyl/plastic type) with brads and pockets. The cover should glue nicely. Pages can be added removed, order can be changed. Pockets are already built in for 'extra tools' kids need to store. Table of Contents will be a template I create, I will hole punch and put it at the front of the journal.
Additional problem and solution...
I had my kids assemble my Properties of Addition and Multiplication foldable and place it in their journal. Unfortunately, with 27 students in each of my two classes, I can't always check to see if things are assembled correctly in a timely manner. A few days later, I discovered a student trying to complete his work using the foldable as a resource...only problem was his resource was assembled incorrectly.
So, my thinking, is that when you need a resource to be correct. It may be best to use one with less assembly needed on the part of the student. Or have the kids partner up and check one anothers. I do, model and assemble with the kids, but this is apparently NOT enough for some students, as was proven by this kiddo.