I have to be boastful; people tell me that I need to be.
I had 100% pass the Geometry End of Course Exam for the State of Texas. Granted the passing rate was probably low being that this is the third year of implementation. However, my students didn't just barely pass. About 92% scored 200 points over the scale passing score. That tells me that it wasn't just luck; I had to have done something right. I would like to share most of what we have done for the past year. This is by far my favorite subject. (I would like to say that about Algebra 1 next year.)
THOUGHT: At a recent workshop, a presenter dissed the use of journals. I almost walked out, but I made my self 'suck it up buttercup' as my students say and finish listening. One tip that I found reasonably useful is that while our students are "wasting their time cutting and glueing" prompt the lesson with guiding questions to spark engaging discussions, complete quick mini oral reviews over recent material, or close your lesson with oral summaries.
Geometry Journal: Finished product of the year.
It is huge; however, this consists of two classes at a time with all of my 'notes to self', assignments, and answer keys. Students that completed everything and placed assessments, quizzes, and assignments in their journals had a journal about half the size of mine.
I let decorating be an optional activity for students on their own time. I go with very little fluff when it comes to journals. Colored paper is extreme for my class. I believe in building an efficient and effective resource first. (It's a work in progress.)
This year in geometry I didn't begin to use journals until Unit 3. I have notes for Units 1 and 2 from my second year which was taught slightly different from my third.
DISCOVERY: Table of Contents-waste of time. We organize by unit and page number.