Math journals provide students with opportunities to articulate their understanding of math concepts and/or their frustrations with the gaps in those understandings. Their use supports metacognitive thinking to enhance understanding and application. This study took a look at the use of math journals by fourth grade students as a conduit for critical thinking, reflection, and real world math application. For this study, student journal entries consisted of identification of a real-life event, the use of a problem-solving strategy learned during class instruction, narrative of both the problem’s description as well as the rationale for choosing the problem, and the use of a numeric or pictorial model with solution. Students shared his/her journal entry with the entire class. Through this research, I witnessed evidence of growth in mathematical understanding, computing and a deeper connection to math’s many real-life applications in the lives of elementary students.
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Benson-O'Connor, Carol D.; McDaniel, Christina; and Carr, Jason
"Bringing Math to Life: Provide Students Opportunities to Connect their Lives to Math,"
Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research: