# Some reflections on mathematics classroom notebooks and their relationship to the public and private nature of student practices

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## Abstract

This article considers students' classroom notebooks, their character and their role in learning. The results presented were found within the frame work of a broader international project, the Learners Perspective Study, whose goal is to identify classroom practice from the students' point of view. Two 8^{th}grade classrooms were studied. In each,every lesson over the course of three weeks was videotaped. After each lesson, two students were interviewed and their notebooks entrees for that lesson were photocopied; once a week, the teacher was interviewed as well. From the analysis of the data it became apparent that the notebook in the classroom is a *public*object; it is ever open for inspection and contains only finished work. That it is not a *private* object in which the student may freely record preliminary ideas, musings, and reflections may affect student learning negatively. The categorization of public and private as a categorization of learning activities is discussed. The relationship between the findings on notebooks and research on writing and classroom journals is discussed; in particular, a connection is made between public and private domains and transactional and expressive writing,respectively.

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