Monday, July 1, 2013

Table of Contents: Do you use?

The opinions of a table of contents came out during a workshop.

QUESTION: Do I use a Table of Contents with our journals?

ANSWER: I do not.

I tried.

My second year, I tried really hard to implement a table of contents. We would forget, or the dates would be off. The table of contents just never worked out.

I then tried dating each page as we went. That didn't work out either. Sometimes we would spend more than one day on a page and forget how long it took.

WHAT HAS BEEN WORKING: I'm not sure what you would call this strategy. We begin each unit with a unit pocket and label that as page one. I use duct tape to make a marker or tab. Students have bought tabs, used post-its, duct tape the entire edge, etc.

WHY IS IT WORKING: My students relate to the locational strategy of our journals. Concepts and math learned are placed in a horizontal/chronological layout with significant landmarks to guide them to their desired location.

A table of contents is a vertical list of words. Students never referenced this list.

What I observed was students locating the unit they knew their desired concept was apart of and finding the page they recognized it to be. I noticed that students related better to location and image over a list. I could hear them describe the page to one another, or visualize the image of the page as the worked a quiz.

I considered that not doing a table of contents is class time gained.

What are your thoughts?