Math Journaling with Checkpoints
Symphony Math incorporates math journaling into the student experience. When students complete a Stage of the program, prompts encourage them to copy some of the visual models they used during their work, and even create their own examples, in their journals. We call them 'Checkpoints.' Checkpoints provide students a opportunity for reflection and transfer, and can be a powerful tool for growth.
Evaluating Student Work
When students are done with a Checkpoint, it's your turn to view their work and make sure they are ready to move forward in the Symphony Math curriculum. Here is a short checklist to guide your evaluation of each Checkpoint:
- Have all Checkpoint steps been attempted?
- Does the student demonstrate understanding of their number models?
- Is the student work accurate? If not, can they self-correct when questioned?
- Can the student talk about their work using mathematical language?
Accepting Student Work
You must type a passcode in order for students to move past each Checkpoint. You can choose to bypass this setting from your Symphony Administration Panel (School Settings or Student Settings), but we recommend you keep the passcode access so that you have an opportunity to view students' growth in math ability.
You can also accept passcodes directly from your Teacher Dashboard. When a student is waiting for their passcode, a checkbox appears in your Dashboard under the 'Checkpoint' column. Check the box to accept the student's work. Your decision will register in about 10 seconds, and the student will automatically move forward in the program:
Using Symphony Math Journals
Your students may receive other prompts to create models in their journals. We do this when students show signs of struggle with a particular concept or visual model. Be sure that your students start each session with their journal or a blank sheet of paper so they are prepared for these prompts.
As time passes, you will have a growing window into your students' understanding of math. Journals provide students and teachers an opportunity to 'pause the action' and confirm mastery of important skills that are critical for success. Use your student journals to help you make instructional decisions, show parents examples of student math thinking, and to document student growth in math ability.