We have 15 new teachers starting at our campus this year! Can you believe that?! 3 of them are on my team. So we met for lunch yesterday just to answer any questions they had. One thing I noticed is that I kept having to say: "well, I don't really do that the way we are supposed to" or "I don't really do that the way everyone else does". Have you seen this blog post-I thought it was cute. I am definitely a Captain Jack!
Anyway, one of the ways I am different from other Kinder teachers I work with is that I do several different kinds of journals. Most teachers do a regular writing journal several days a week where the kids copy and answer prompts. Many use math or science journals. A few years back I got a little bored with that. :) So I started using some other kinds of journals and they have been pretty successful so I thought I would share.
1) Rigor Journal-I know, terrible name! But I print out pages with the icons we use for depth and complexity like patterns or ethics. We use it as another form of reading response-the kids can choose an icon to write about in regard to their story. So for example, if I'm reading them Charlotte's Web, they might write about if what Charlotte was doing was right or they could write from Wilbur's perspective--their choice.
2) Gratitude Journal-started this last year and I LOVED it! If you want to read something that will restore your faith in humanity this is it! I would give them a prompt about once a week-write about something you are grateful for that you can't see or that doesn't cost any money. I so looked forward to reading their answers each week.
3) Quote journals-I like using quotes because I do think it takes some abstract thinking to explain what it means. So I would give them the quote (usually I'd just print them out and they could glue it in) and then the students would illustrate what it means using pics or words. I start out by doing this as an oral activity with them whole group in our morning warm-up and then they start putting their ideas on paper.
4) Poetry Journals-I know many teachers use poetry journals, but most I've seen is just that they are gluing the poem in and using it to practice their reading. My kiddos have to respond to it. What does it make you think about,. feel, see in your mind, etc.? And then they also draw a picture to show what it means.
What different kinds of journals do you use with your kiddos? I would love some fresh ideas for this year! :)