I never really understood students copying a morning message other than practicing writing grammatically correct sentences. For math, trying to find things “journal worthy” was a challenge. I didn’t just want students solving word problems or doing “naked” number problems. A peer found some good journal topics that were standard based that could be printed on labels to be stuck in journals. I used them for the first few weeks of school, but still wanted more. Then I came across Joe Schwartz’s blog about changing a morning message. He gave an example of Always, Sometimes, Never questions with a link attached. I was intrigued. On the link he used, the examples were above grade level for my second graders. So, I began inventing my own. I LOVED the results and the conversations that went on about them. My little second graders would have a math debate at times about which answer was correct. Students had to write whether the statement was always, sometimes, or never true and then prove their answer. Here are some examples:
- If I want to make the largest 3 digit number possible, then the hundreds digit has to be the largest digit.
- You can partition a rectangle in half four different way.
(For some reason I didn’t take pictures of their answers to this one)
7. If I have some coins with only 2 pennies, then the total amount will end in 2.
Most of the topics easily transitioned into investigative tasks that resulted in students creating posters with “proofs” to defend their arguments. I’m looking forward to creating more next year to use with my students!