Double-Entry Journal

The Double-Entry Journal is way for students to take detailed and organized notes during reading.  Through this strategy, students organize their notes in two columns separated by a vertical line down the middle of their paper.  One column contains the actual information from the lesson and text.  In the second column, students make their own notes about their thought process and ideas.  This may include any questions or personal reflections.  This strategy is effective because it helps students make notes about necessary concepts while keeping track of their own thinking process.  Students will be able to refer back to their notes and remember the most pertinent information by looking at their own comments and reflections.

The Double-Entry Journal can be applied in the math classroom during the lesson on multi-step algebraic equations.  This strategy will help students keep track of each step while solving these equations.  Students will have already learned the order of operations and how to solve one-step equations, so they will be ready to keep track of multi-step equations using the Double-Entry Journal.  I think this strategy is useful because students can use one column to write the problem and steps to solution while they detail their process in the other column.  It is easy for students to mix up the steps in solving these types of equations by forgetting which operation should be used first.  Applying the Double-Entry Journal to this concept will be useful for students to keep track of their solutions, and they will be able to refer back to their journal for assistance with future algebra problems.  Here are the procedures, worksheet, and example for this strategy:

Double Entry Journal Strategy Plan

Double Entry Journal Worksheet Page

Double-Entry Journal Example

For more, see Subjects Matter by Harvey Daniels and Steven Zemelman.

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