Looking for a way to keep students engaged in learning and exploring math concepts? Try using interactive math notebooks or combine with math crafts for fun notes and math application.
As teachers, we have the power to inspire awe or dread in our budding mathematicians. As a seasoned middle school educator with well over a decade of experience, I’ve learned that one of the keys to making math more enjoyable and accessible is through interactive, engaging activities. Read on to see how I use interactive math notebooks & math crafts two fantastic for creating math magic in the classroom!
*This is a guest post from Crystal at Teaching Principal.
What Are Interactive Notebooks & Why Are They Effective Math Instruction?
Interactive notebooks (or INBs for short) are a versatile engaging tool that can transform any student’s math learning experience. These are customized notebooks students create to record their math journey.
What makes INBs so powerful is the interactive element. Students don’t just passively write information down; they actively participate in constructing their own math resources, allowing for deeper conceptual understanding and synthesis.
As I mentioned, INBs are a powerful tool for engaging students in the learning & exploring of math concepts, unlike ordinary note-taking. Here are some additional benefits of using them in the math classroom.
Interactive Math Notebooks Provide:
- Multi-sensory approach for increased student engagement
- Better organization and study habit formation
- Deeper understanding of mathematical concepts
Being dual certified as an elementary and special educator, I’ve personally witnessed exceptional students become more enthusiastic about math when they take ownership of their notebooks. They show pride in their work, and this pride translates into improved learning outcomes.
Bonus: it’s always nice to bring out the interactive notebooks as a data point for parent conferences and progress monitoring updates!
How to Create Interactive Notebook Pages
Creating effective interactive notebook pages can be both fun and educational. It’s all about designing pages that are visually appealing, interactive, and aligned with your student learning objectives. The key is to make the learning enjoyable.
Need help coming up with ideas?
But the creative fun doesn’t have to stop there. You can include foldable activities, brightly colored pockets, and interactive elements like mini-games or pop-ups in your INBs.
For example: for a lesson on comparing numbers using the <, >, and = symbols, younger students can create a “greater gator” alligator, making their learning more tangible and memorable.
Simple math crafts are another engaging approach to teaching and reinforcing math.
These projects allow students to explore mathematical concepts through hands-on, creative activities. Whether students are coloring by code to complete a festive scene or solving expressions on segmented candy corn pieces, simple crafts make abstract math ideas concrete and much more enjoyable.
As an added bonus, some of my favorite math crafts double as colorful classroom displays for the holidays! It makes for festively functional bulletin boards, no matter the season.
Combining Interactive Math Notebooks and Math Crafts
Imagine the magic that happens when you combine interactive notebooks with math crafts. Are you ready for that kind of student engagement and mathematical retention?!
Students can create notebook pages that are part of a larger craft project.
Here’s a good example: when teaching about area and perimeter, students can design their own mini-gardens in their interactive notebooks and then later create a 3D diorama, calculating the area and perimeter of their garden.
This not only reinforces the math concept but also allows for creative expression! Your students will love the real-world application and hands-on approach to learning. I can almost guarantee it!
In the world of education, especially post-pandemic, we often hear about the importance of making learning fun. Today’s 21st-century learners are built differently; they thrive off flashy fun. When it comes to mathematics, interactive math notebooks and simple math crafts are two of the most powerful tools to achieve just that.
By embracing these teaching resources, we can make math engaging, accessible, and memorable for all of our students. Don’t hesitate to try out these creative approaches in your math classroom. Watch with wonder as your students’ enthusiasm for math grows!
Looking for manipulatives that students can include in a pocket of their interactive math notebook? Check out this HUGE free collection of printable math manipulatives to find something just right for your students.
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