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Math Notebook Rubric Examples

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  • 0:00 What Is a Math Notebook?
  • 0:59 Rubrics Explained
  • 1:57 Putting it All Together
  • 3:03 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde
Teachers are getting more creative with classroom instruction. Using math notebooks is a smart choice for both teachers and students. Not sure what a math notebook or a rubric is? Read on and we'll help clear up confusion.

What Is a Math Notebook?

They're on every student supply list: notebooks. Students come to school armed with a stack of them. To make them useful, memorable and stand out in a crowd, teachers have come up with smart and creative ways to use them. A math notebook is an interactive tool students use to take notes, reflect and make sense of their learning. Notebooks push students to use high-level thinking skills as the teacher asks them to think deeply about concepts related to math.

Math notebooks are typically divided into two sides: left and right. The left side is reserved for student output, or work. This is where students practice and process skills, like computations and class work. Students have more free-rein over this side of their notebooks as they use it to make sense of material.

The right side is for teacher input: notes, handouts, vocabulary and assessments. Most right-side material is teacher directed and not optional for students.

Rubrics Explained

Teachers recognize the importance of math notebooks. They're used for taking valuable notes, for practicing learned skills and an irreplaceable tool as a diary of a student's time in math class. To foster students to take pride in their notebooks and the work inside, teachers often use a rubric to give grades on various topics. Rubrics are a great way to grade as they require some work at the upstart, but then allow the teacher to give grades objectively based on predetermined criteria. Let's take a look.

A rubric is a grid-like grading tool set up to look at two things: the criteria and the student's achievement of that criteria. The horizontal side of the grid typically identifies standards or objectives, and the grading criteria is on the vertical, usually in an easy-to-read, 1-4 format. In place of a grid, teachers can organize their rubric with details of both the criteria and grade in a document-like format.

Putting it All Together

Now that you have the basics for math notebooks and rubrics, let's dig deeper into how to put these two ideas together. The first thing you'll need to do is determine your intention for the rubric. What are you grading and why? To answer these questions, consider:

  • What important aspects of the notebook do you want to highlight?
  • What areas do you want students to pay more attention to?
  • What work requires the most effort?

Use these guiding questions to choose an area or emphasis for your rubric. Some teachers use a rubric for more than one section, such as homework and classwork. Some teachers have one rubric that grades the whole notebook and includes specific objectives for each area.

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