Friday, June 14, 2013

Journal Help

I am very passionate about teaching writing to my kiddos. In Kindergarten it takes a LOT of patience and modeling but looking through the journals my students kept this year--they made soooo  much progress in their writing. The first day most of them are barely writing letters and by the end the fact that they are writing whole sentences...well, I was very proud of them! :)

I am looping up with my kids to 1st Grade and I want to keep that momentum going. However, I do not want them to get bored with writing or associate it with a task they find monotonous (I already started getting the eye roles from the morning journal work-we have to write in our journals again!?). The supply list my new team came up with includes many journals and I'm looking for ideas of ones we can do that will be more exciting for my munchkins.

I do poetry journals once a week for the poem we are working on. Math journals never really worked out for me because by the time they copied the problem-time was up. I've heard of people having them glue in a problem and then answer it, but to me the journals should be more of a reflection of what they are learning. Maybe some sort of reading response journal...?

Do you guys use any fun kinds of journals that may help my students retain their enjoyment of writing?


  1. I teach 2nd Grade -

    For Math I used journals in centers. Sometimes they used them simply to solve the problems. For those they would glue the problem in the journal.

    They would also write problems they made up in their journals. We started with a fill in the blank style, but they moved on to being able to write their own. I would pick problems from their journals to use in morning warm up.

    They would explain how to solve certain problems. For example they would solve a 2 digit by 2 digit problem writing each step with an explanation.

  2. Just a thought, a colleague of mine has her kids decorate their Writer's Source books (composition books) with any pictures that they like. They can be photos of them with family and/or friends, magazine pictures, etc... this might help with the initial excitement of journal writing (hopefully). Best of luck! Also, I looped from K to 1 several years ago and I L-O-V-E-D it!!! I hope your experience is as wonderful as mine was.

    :) Nicole
    Tadpole Tidbits

  3. Have you thought of doing class journals? For example, set up a topic on the cover and let it rotate around the room and everyone can write on the same topics. Just a kiddos love it!
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  4. Well, I'm glad I asked! :) What wonderful ideas you guys have shared-I am definitely going to incorporate these! :)

  5. I do a show and tell math journal once a week. The children have to bring in a specific type of item to share ie. a rock, something green, a magnet, a cylinder. It is based on science and math - and then we do a lot of sorting and graphing of items after we share what we brought, and then most weeks we write about what we saw or learned. I teach 4K so sometimes it becomes a labeling activity or a simple sentence. The leaf is green. or Mr frog is green etc. I have been doing this for about 3 years. I got the idea from here and have improvised on it.

    I also do writers workshop 3 days of weeks, and with the mini lessons the children start with drawing activities first, move to labeling, then narratives, opinion writing and finally all about stories. My kiddos love to write. Hope that helps.