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Math Journals in MINUTES… Yes, You Can!

Math journals in Minutes in Kindergarten

Kindergarten Math Journals

Daily math journals are a great way to quickly practice math concepts throughout the entire school year! Check out these math journal prompts that take just minutes to complete for your kindergarten students.

I am often asked, “How do you have time for math journals?” Or, “How much time do you take to do math journals?” My answer is always, “Just 10 minutes! I start kindergarten math journals at the beginning of the year and we continue our daily math practice each and every day! These became an important part of our day and my kindergarten friends would always remind me if we hadn’t completed our math journal activities yet.

So, how do we complete math journaling in just 10 minutes? Let me walk you through the steps!

Start the Timer... Here is how I do math journals

I start by introducing the math prompt for the day. “Friends, take out your math journals.” (I use composition notebooks) I like to use fun colored duct tape along the spine of their math journals, so they can quickly find them. They open up their journal to the “next blank page”. Another side note, I also add a black ribbon when I tape the spine as an easy way for them to find their next blank page.

Math Journals in MINUTES... Yes, You Can! 1

I start reading the prompt. The moment I am done reading it, they start drawing. I encourage them to look at their neighbors and collaborate.

Meanwhile, I start cutting the prompts out. As I am cutting, I am offering words of encouragement and clarification, all while moving about the room and handing out prompts. I drop the paper prompt in the lid of their crayon box and keep moving. The students are responsible for gluing their prompt to the top of the page in their journal. EASY!

Math Journals in MINUTES... Yes, You Can! 2

A question I get a lot… “Why don’t you print them on labels?” I simply don’t because it is way cheaper to print them on paper. I print the ENTIRE months worth of prompts (30) on plain paper. Plus, it is less prep! No adding the labels into the copier and making sure they aren’t upside down. Who has time for that? Each day, I select 1 prompt. I DO NOT cut them ahead of time. We don’t have 30 school days each month, so at the end of the month, I have no problem recycling a few pages of plain paper. Recycling labels?… I might cry!

Also, I can “cut and drop” those prompts way faster than I could peel and stick labels on each individual journal for everyone in the whole class.

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About the time I have made it around the room, I am ready to start checking their journal entries.

I love that we can practice various math skills throughout the entire year. We focus on number sense, patterns, shapes, addition, subtraction… this list goes on!

kindergarten math journals

These monthly math journals are perfect for your kindergarten classroom! You will love providing your students with the extra practice in such a short amount of time. Check out this great resource here:

There are also math journals available for first grade:

I have another blog post that tells everything you need to know about math journals. Read it by clicking on the following link:

Try out these math activities with this free file! Add your name and email address to the box below.

 
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Math journals in Minutes in Kindergarten

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Deedee Wills

Deedee Wills

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!

Hi, I'm DeedeE.

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!
 

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19 Responses

  1. I am going to time ours tomorrow! I have been passing out as they're getting their journals ready and then read when the majority of the class is done gluing. I am going to try it your way tomorrow! Do you have the kids show the class their work or is it more just with their neighbors?

    1. We don't do a daily share, they just look at their tables. Sometimes I highlight one that is shows the concept really clearly. They love when I get my camera out!

      1. I love the Idea of attaching a ribbon to help students find their place. How did you attach them to the journals?

    1. Yes, When we first started (in August) we spent about 15 minutes I think. EVERYTHING takes longer in August… ha! We did journals a few times a week back then. Now we are doing them more routinely and they HOP to it! I am a real stickler about transitions… there will be no lolly gagging in my class, but I make a game out of it. "Let's see if we can get this done in ___ minutes."

  2. just curious….but what about those students who are incorrect or don't have the stamina or fine motor skills to get it done that quickly?

    1. So far… in the 3-4 years since I have done these, I have not had a problem with a student not being able to complete these. Certainly, at the beginning of the year, they may have to push harder, but they all step up. I am also right by their side continuously. I am up moving and supporting students. From time to time, I have students misunderstand the prompt or draw an incorrect response. This offers a nice opportunity to instruct them.

      I love setting high expectations and then watching those students achieve!

  3. Hi Deedee,

    Math Talks or Number Talks seems to be a big thing these days. Do you consider these math journal problems a source for math talks? Do you do math talks in a different way? I know that a big part of math talks is getting students to share strategies they use to figure out problems, but with a math curriculum it is hard to find extra time do math talks/math journals, and still have time for small group math workshop.

    1. Oh My! Yes, you could totally do a quick math talk as a pre-response activity! That would work perfectly!!!

  4. Hi! I love these but I teach first… do you have something similar for 1st? Or do you know of someone who might?

    Thanks!

    1. I don’t have 1s grade ones, but Anna Brantley on TpT has some that are similar and they are made for first grade. 🙂

  5. Do you model any parts or just let them go? I am afraid my students may not have exposure to some of the vocabulary like cornstalks?

    1. Hi there!

      Great question! I have a blog post that goes over the early days. Here is the link. I’m going to add it to my post as well. Thank you for your question!! Let me know if you have any other questions that I didn’t cover in this one.

      Starting Math Journals

  6. In your opinion, are these prompts something well trained kinders can do independently in a math station?

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