Sunday, 9 June 2013

Class Journals

As the school year comes to an end, I've been reflecting on some of the successful ideas that I implemented in my classroom this year. One of these ideas was class journals. A colleague of mie had mentioned she was going to try this out and I thought it sounds like a great idea. All I did was grab some extra journals and labeled them different topics:

Songs and Poems
Fictional Stories
Real Life Stories
Facts about Animals
When I grow up...
If I ruled the school...(most popular and most comical)

I included a short description of each topic below and then placed them in a book box for easy acceses. I am sure I could have spent more time and money on making the covers more attractive, but I found I didn't need to do that to make it appealing for students.

During Daily 5, students who were working on Work on Writing had a choice of writing in one of our class journals, their own journal or writing a blog post on our class blog. Even though my students were pretty excited about this when I first introduced these journal, it took some time before all of them felt comfortable writing in the journals. 

What I love about these journals is that the students get to read their peer's work before creating their own entry. What was interesting was that my strong and confident writers created some of the first entries in each journal. This helped set the expectation for the rest of the writers. 

I found that taking time to share some of the writing in the class journals also encouraged more students to write. Every once in a while I grab one of the journals and read an entry or ask a students to read their to the class, if they feel comfortable. 

This is an idea that I am going to be using next year. I hope to have a few extra and ask students to create topics for new class journals. I can't wait to see the ideas that will flow from a new class.