Math: Reflective Math Journaling Prompts

Updated: Dec 1, 2019

I am a HUGE groupie of Dr. Yeap Ban Har. If you have ever heard him discuss a lesson, he has a very specific structure that allows students to collaborate and evaluate. He begins by choosing a thoughtful problem that allows students to solve in multiple ways. The lesson continues in this manner:


Exploration with Observation (10 minutes): Students work to solve the problem presented. They use manipulatives, paper and express their methods in their math journals as an investigative response, if needed. Dr. Ban Har encourages students to solve in more than 2 ways.


Structured Discussion with Sharing of Methods (10 minutes): Dr. Ban Har asks students to share out their methods. As students share, he records their methods using examples, words and pictures. He expresses no judgement on these methods and allows students to see if they are similar or that they work properly.


Reflection or Journaling with Interaction (10 minutes): Students then take a moment to process what has happened this point in the lesson. This can be by reading through part of the textbook and analyzing what the author did. They can also do this by writing in their interactive math journals. However, the prompts should vary based on the type of problem. Check out the graphic below to see the types of prompts he suggests.



Guided Practice (10 minutes): Guided Practice is an opportunity for students to try out the methods discussed with a partner. Students work to solve problems using the various methods. If they need help, they receive assistance from the teacher through questioning.


Independent Practice (10 minutes): Often lessons end without students having an opportunity to process the information on their own. Independent Practice allows students to use the various methods and make sense of problems. Due to the fact that students are working collaboratively throughout the lesson, this independent time is vital to help students finish the lesson.


Dr. Ban Har mentions that Reflection or Journaling can move after Guided Practice, if needed. That allows students to practice and reflect throughout the lesson. If you would like a copy of the lesson structure and the Journal Prompts, click here for your FREE download.


If you are interested in more from Dr. Ban Har, check out his blog at http://banhar.blogspot.com/



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