Commonplace Book

A commonplace book was once referred to as a silva rerum, or “forest of things.” It was a place where people kept ideas, quotes, facts, bits of wisdom, and other potentially useful information. A commonplace book was very personal and reflected the personality of the creator.

Your commonplace book will be based on course readings, videos, class sessions, blog entires, and daily life. Each week you will complete entries in your commonplace book that reflect the ideas that struck you as important and added to your understanding of math content and pedagogy.

In creating your commonplace book, keep the following guidelines in mind.

Keep it single-purpose. Your commonplace book is not the same thing as a course notebook. It is not the place to keep class or reading notes. It is the place to include key ideas and reflect on what you are learning.

Keep it broad-based. If something captures your attention or makes a connection for you, include it in your book. Don’t be too selective in the early stages of this process.

Use words, images, and colors. The goal in keeping a commonplace book is to capture what you are reading, seeing, and hearing in a way that’s memorable. Words alone are not enough.

Take time to review it. You will bring your book to class each week to share the ideas that were meaningful to you. Skim your entries regularly so that you are familiar with its contents.