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Math Notebooking Journals! Printables!

I have once again been inspired by Pinterest.  I am pinterest obsessed in case you hadn’t noticed.

I love the idea of Math Journaling and Notebooking.  There is something to be said for recording what you’ve learned in your own words to be referenced later.  What a great study tool that could be!

This summer I saw some great ideas about taking a composition book and getting it cut in half at Home Depot to use for math journals.

Like WITH THE SAW at Home Depot.  I checked out a few of the pins and found that MANY pinners said that the saw blades were chewing up their books.

Others said they were able to get them cut at Office Depot.

I picked up 10 books at Walmart for 50 cents a piece and headed to Office Depot optimism in hand.  I was told that they couldn’t cut them for me because of the binding.  :(  Boo!

Since they couldn’t do it for me, I decided to see if it could be done at school.

I was super excited when I was told that they could be cut… and even better it would be free since I was doing it at school.  Woohoo!

{Some people did say that they were able to cut them using a regular paper cutter by opening the books and cutting it that way, fyi.}

I made a Math Journal label for the cover and an instruction sheet I adapted for the inside cover.

And here they are for YOU!


Have you ever tried Math Journaling?  I am hopeful it will be a great learning tool this year!

Linking up to.. Weekend Bloggy Link upFive Days Five Ways, and 4th Grade Frolics!

41 Responses to Math Notebooking Journals! Printables!
  1. Bette
    September 5, 2012 | 7:04 am

    Never heard of cutting a notebook in half. Maybe I need to get on Pinterest more often. These turned out so cute. Your willingness to share is awesome!

  2. Julie
    September 5, 2012 | 7:29 am

    What a great idea! Love economy of cutting a book in half. Wonderful graphics, too!

  3. Raquel
    September 5, 2012 | 8:37 pm

    I’ve used journals in every subject. It’s great! I had the students make a table of contents in the first few pages. We’d fill it in as we went. The kids were able to go back to check their notes whenever they needed to. It was also great for me to easily see when they didn’t quite understand a concept. I never cut them in half, though…great idea!

  4. Sherri
    September 5, 2012 | 10:29 pm

    What did you use to cut the journals with at your school?

  5. Angela Papa
    September 6, 2012 | 11:11 pm

    This is my first year using math journals. Have you been to the Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes (4th grade blog)? She gives some really good ideas! Good luck. Have fun!

  6. Christina
    September 8, 2012 | 5:49 pm

    wow, what a great idea to cut the books in half! I would think it could be done with a table saw. We used to have a parent that would cut out workbooks binders off so we could file the papers without tearing each page out.

    • Kelly at Littlest Sweet Pea
      September 20, 2013 | 10:51 pm

      I used our circular saw for our journal and it worked. I did leave a little bit of fray at the ends, but not too bad!

  7. Samantha
    September 11, 2012 | 7:46 pm

    I used to take thick workbooks to Kinkos to have the binding cut off and then rebound with coil/spiral. They have some sort of powerful chopping machine there. I wonder if they could cut them in half? But good to know you could get it done with a paper cutter.

  8. […] I found this super cute freebie for subtraction regrouping from Fun in Room 4B that I thought would be great in our math journals. […]

  9. Kelly
    May 15, 2013 | 9:01 pm

    I used a band saw to cut mine and it worked great!!

  10. janeen
    May 28, 2013 | 4:22 pm

    what a great way to conserve those composition books! thank you for the idea!

  11. Jessica
    May 29, 2013 | 7:15 pm

    Your labels are so cute! Would you mind sharing where you purchased the black digital frame graphic to make the labels?

  12. I
    July 3, 2013 | 11:42 am

    I love the idea of cutting the book in half for my first graders. I used the full size journals for my fifth graders, which worked better for including vocabulary, guided examples, and independent practice. I love math journaling and your front instruction page is fabulous.

  13. Charity
    July 7, 2013 | 8:24 pm

    I found a really nice guy to cut mine at Home Depot the first go around, even though he said they don’t normally do it. It was too much trouble seeking out someone to cut them ,so I had my hubby go buy a saw to cut them! The best my $50 could have bought! Now he cuts them whenever I need!!

  14. Ali
    July 10, 2013 | 3:21 pm

    Love this idea! Thanks for sharing…I think I’ll use these for my “kid writing” journals, too! Such an easy solution when regular notebooks are a bit too big for kindergartners.

  15. Tonya
    July 19, 2013 | 1:42 pm

    You never mentioned how you ended up cutting the books!! What did you use at school to cut the books if you didn’t use the paper cutter, which was suggested by other teachers.

    • Renee
      July 19, 2013 | 2:17 pm

      We have a printing office at our Christian School that has lots of heavy duty equipment, and I had them cut there.

  16. lwaconda
    July 19, 2013 | 11:26 pm

    Thanks so much for the great journaling ideas. Did you use a regular paper cutter at school to half your compositions?

    • Renee
      July 21, 2013 | 8:18 pm

      No, our school has a printing dept that has heavy duty paper cutters. Some people said a paper cutter would work though if you just open the journals in half.

  17. Marilyn
    July 31, 2013 | 3:08 pm

    Thank you soooo much! This was so helpful.

  18. Michelle
    August 5, 2013 | 9:05 am

    What type of saw did you use to cut the books?

    • Kelly at Littlest Sweet Pea
      September 20, 2013 | 10:48 pm

      I used our circular saw at home and they do leave a little bit of a fray on the edge but the kiddos never noticed. I’ve also had success at Home Depot and Lowe’s before where they’ll cut them for free.

  19. Makayla
    August 5, 2013 | 10:43 am

    Thanks for the math labels! I love them!

  20. jennifer minor
    August 5, 2013 | 2:17 pm

    I am a kindergarten teacher. I am going to do this for my first graders. I like the fact that they are cut in half. Wonderful idea

  21. Tawana
    August 14, 2013 | 8:28 pm

    Thanks for the super cute labels.

  22. Kelly at Littlest Sweet Pea
    September 20, 2013 | 10:46 pm

    I used to do these with my 2nd graders when I was teaching in the classroom. Now, I’m homeschooling our preschooler and we’re doing it again. You can read more about it here-
    We did end up using your cute covers! Thanks so much for sharing.

  23. Veronica
    October 4, 2013 | 9:30 pm

    Thank you!

  24. Tommie Graham
    November 2, 2013 | 7:08 am

    I take my notebooks to Office Max. For about $12 I get 40 notebooks cut in half. The smaller size is perfect for a first grader. The large blank page can be very intimidating for beginning writers and mathematicians.

  25. […] More of this blog post here […]

  26. Valerie Harris
    May 23, 2014 | 11:03 pm

    I Love This !!! I can’t wait to use this great idea in the fall. Thanks for sharing .

  27. Heather
    June 8, 2014 | 8:17 pm


    I will be a third grade teacher this coming school year after spending my first year as a 5th-6th teacher. I did math journals with my class and I loved it, but I am not sure if it would be more appropriate for third grade to cut the notebooks or just have a regular notebook like I did this year. Any thoughts or advice?

  28. Megan
    June 12, 2014 | 3:26 pm

    Hi! I love this idea! Went to home depot and got my copybooks cut in half this morning for FREE! :) However, I tried to click your link for the labels and instructions and it is not working. Is there any other way I could receive them? Thank you!

    • Kelli
      June 24, 2014 | 8:38 pm

      I am having the same trouble! :( It says the dropbox is empty! Please help!

      • Renee
        June 30, 2014 | 9:50 pm

        I updated the link Kelli to a teacher’s notebook file! Sorry about that!

    • Renee
      June 30, 2014 | 9:49 pm

      Yay on getting books cut free! I have updated the link with a teacher’s notebook file for you. Sorry about that! GL with your journals! I know your students will love them!

  29. Moni
    September 6, 2014 | 10:58 am

    What a great idea…. I teach first grade and I bought my books to Office Max…the guy was so nice and cut them up for free. I plan o use them as Word Study Books.

  30. Eileen
    July 2, 2015 | 4:22 pm

    Hello. I really like your math journal and the covers. Do you use a notebook as well or is this their notebook? I want my math students writing more. My school also emphasizes Cornell notes or interactive notebooks. Do you have any ideas to combine the two ideas?

  31. Natalie A
    August 4, 2015 | 12:40 am

    My parents used to run a print shop and I’m sure if you take the books into a local shop, they would be able to cut them in half for you for a small fee.

  32. michelle lindsey
    August 11, 2015 | 2:53 pm

    These are so cute! Do you have labels for writing journals?

  33. Darcel
    August 18, 2015 | 9:01 pm

    I take my marble composition tablets to Kinkos. Any paper cutting establishment could cut it. It cost about $2.50 for 10 tablets.

  34. Linda
    September 10, 2015 | 7:06 am

    Just be sure to make a copy of the journaling book for your self. My kidos will look at my book to make sure it is right while working on a page. It is also important that the absent kidos have a model to follow.