Mathematics Project Journal

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(Math with Mrs. Vickmark)

Portions of the document have been redacted for the preview version.

PURPOSE:
I designed this project journal guide and grading rubric for my Applied Math group a couple of years back, but it is incredibly beneficial for any math course involving projects, discovery-style learning, focus on communication, etc. I really tried to connect my journal format to something that the kids might be expected to complete in a science class or any college course involving a lab component. The actual project rubric is where I get into the nitty-gritty of the project's requirements, but having the kids complete journals really gets them thinking about their own learning and the discoveries they make during their projects.

DETAILS / INFORMATION:
1) The first page provides the guide for students as they complete each project journal. I provided each student with a composition notebook that I had them reserve strictly for project journaling. The first page of this document contains two copies of the journal guide, so when the page is cut, these guides fit perfectly into the front of each student's journal (glued into the notebook)--that way they have the guide accessible at all times.

2) I found it incredibly beneficial to go through the first project journal entry with the students so that they get a true idea of what is expected of them. One nice way to do this is to set up a fairly straight-forward project at the beginning of the year that will allow all students' responses to be relatively similar--then you can easily write the journal entry as a class. (See my "Mathematics Communication Project" for an easy project with which to introduce the journals).

GRADING:
Page two of the document contains the grading rubric I used for all project journals. It ties in directly with the guide on page one, so I also provide the students with a copy of this as we complete the first journal together. I also leave an "additional points" section on the rubric, as some projects will be graded primarily on the journal component. That way, a separate rubric is not needed for projects that are predominantly journal-based. For these projects, then, you can simply write in the additional criteria and point values without having to rewrite the entire rubric.
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Mathematics Project Journal