Journal Writing Question

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by MissSherry, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. MissSherry

    MissSherry Rookie

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    Sep 10, 2006

    Ok, this is my first year teaching. I am in second grade. I love it so far...despite the fact that I feel as though I am simply keeping my head above water. This is our second week of school...we have had 4 days of class so far.

    I have had the students write in their journals twice. For the most part, my students have come up with some great journal entries. Many are great at sound spelling and giving good descriptions. BUT I have a couple students who really struggle with journal writing. One in particular, I cannot understand what he is writing even when he draws a picture to accompany it. So my question is...is it ok to sit with him during journal time and help him to gather his thoughts or to sound spell with him? Any other tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!
     
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  3. SaraFirst

    SaraFirst Cohort

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    Sep 10, 2006

    Sure its ok! You have to do what you need to do so that he is able to do his work. Hopefully after working with him for awhile, you will be able to decrease the amount of "help" you provide and gradually release the responsibility to him. Also, depending on what type of words he is trying to spell, could he use a word wall or personal dictionary to help him? By the way, are you giving the students prompts or letting them choose what to write about?
     
  4. MissSherry

    MissSherry Rookie

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    Sep 10, 2006

    I am using a word wall for our spelling program since the canadian spelling program is not that great. The word wall words will start next week and at that time I will definitely be encouraging the students to use the word wall. Also when I reply to their journal entries, I try to add the misspelled words to my response so they see the correct way.

    On the first day of journal writing I prompted them to write about their friends. The second day I let them choose. I think I will be letting them choose from here on in. Most students had no problem with this. During our writing block, I will be giving them a topic to write in their writing scribblers with. Is it ok to allow them to write on their own?
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Sep 10, 2006

    Personally, I think they develop better writing skills if you don't give prompts. Praise anything they write. Ask the student whose writing you don't understand to tell you what he has written.
     
  6. AuburnTeach

    AuburnTeach Companion

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    Sep 10, 2006

    I have emergent writers tell me their sentence before they write, then draw a line for each word. The line matches the length of the word, and I put a big space between each line to emphasize spacing between words. After I draw the lines (with a magic marker), I have the student repeat the sentence, pointing to the line for each word.

    If the student draws a picture, I have him/her draw first, then label the drawing. After the student writes about the drawing, I suggest details to add to the drawing, then encourage the student to add the details to his/her writing.

    I send home a writing topics form for parents to fill out with their children; then the kids have a list of ideas from which to draw, and the topics are engaging because they are personal to each child. If you'd like a copy of the form, PM me your e-mail address, and I'll send it to you...it's a Word file.
     
  7. Research_Parent

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    Sep 11, 2006

    Journal writing should be for the student's benefit and to show progress in their individual writing ability.

    When reviewing the student's work, simply ask him/her what it says and correct as needed. If you don't mind some noise levels, you can also encourage them to "ask a buddy" how to spell words as well.
     
  8. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Sep 11, 2006

    When I did journal writing with 2nds, we would put a prompt on the board, but didn't require them to use the prompt if they had something else they wanted to write about. It gave them the freedom to write whatever they wanted, but gave structure to those who needed it.
     
  9. katrinkit

    katrinkit Comrade

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    Sep 11, 2006

    You could also have your students brainstorm a list of things they are able to write about. They could highlight or circle the things from their list that they are using. What will you be doing with you journals later on in the year? Will you have them pick their favorite one to expand?

    I think that as long as you try to spend a little time with each student, maybe more with your struggling students, you won't single anyone out and that would be fine. Maybe for some students, you would just say "great job" and move on...i don't teach second and I never have, so I'm not sure if this is a good idea of not - let us know what you decide!
     

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