Journal writing

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Pencil Monkey, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Jul 15, 2011

    I want my students to be better writers this school year. I found the most important thing that they are missing is a sense of creativity and good ideas. So I was thinking that I would have them write a short journal entry daily in a composition book. To make this easier I want to use labels to stick on each page for the prompt of the day, so that my students will have the prompt on their page as opposed to copying from the board daily. I want to make my routine as painless as possible.

    But I am having a hard time justifying the $60 it will cost me just for the labels. Has anyone done something like this before? Is there a less expensive way? Also how did you asses the journals?
     
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  3. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jul 15, 2011

    My only concern is that much writing without guidance/feedback can reinforce bad habits. However, if you want to save the cost perhaps you could type up a month's worth of prompts, copy it and have them glue that page in.

    Another option is to write the prompt on the board and teach them to start by responding in a complete sentence.
     
  4. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

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    Jul 15, 2011

    We would collect a few journals each day to review. That way we see every journal each week, but don't have to collect, review, and return all journals every day.

    Most of our "Daily Bites" as we call them, focus on grammatical errors in a sentence, and students have to correct the errors. Maybe each day their journal entry has a specific task/skill that you are looking for. I like iheartrecess's idea of first focusing on reinforcing the skill of responding in a complete sentence.
     
  5. MrsMikesell

    MrsMikesell Cohort

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    Jul 15, 2011

    ... Not to be a Debbie Downer...

    But is telling the kids what to write about each day going to help them be more creative?

    At the beginning of each year I have the kids write an "Expert List" of all the things they know a lot about. It's normally 10 - 20 things.

    Many times it's sports, clothes, music, whatever. If the kids ever get in a slump they refer to their lists to get them back on track.

    This way they are writing about things they are passionate about.
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 15, 2011

    I don't believe in prompts. I also don't like 'workbook' writing. I prefer the writer's workshop approach. I started the class with a wilent walk outside. I asked the kids to just observe. When we came back, they each had to share one thing they observed and what it made them think about or feel. It was really interesting to hear the wide variety of responses.
     
  7. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 15, 2011

    I have prompts every once in a while, but they are very open-ended (like design your own theme park, restaurant, school, etc.). Sometimes, also, I ask questions about something that went on in history that day. Other times, the kids write about topics they desire. Personally, if I were to do prompts on strips like you for journaling, I would put them on strips of paper, and then the kids would use a glue stick to adhere in their journals. :)
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jul 15, 2011

    Can you have your students respond to something other than a prompt. Maybe show a science experiment and just have them write about it. Or show a short clip and have them respond. Or maybe show them a picture or quote.
     
  9. mrsrooney

    mrsrooney Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2011

    No offence to the original poster but I have to agree. I actually prefer to stay away from journal entries and have the kids write different types of texts such as stories inspired by what we read (for example: circle stories like If you GIve a Mouse a Cookie...), menus, poetry, letters... all kinds of types of writing! One of my favourite "prompts" that my kids loved was using a plastic witch from the dollar store (she looks like she hit a tree). The kids loved writing about "What happened to the Witch?"
     
  10. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 16, 2011

    If you do need to use labels... I can't imagine paying $60. You can get printable address labels for $1 at Dollar Tree...
     

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