Journals’ end

3 Jun


We have come to the end of the 4th grade interactive journals for this year. We did things a little differently this year.  As the designated ESL teacher for the 4th grade team, I have written to all the ESL students, changing the list of who I write to each trimester. The other thing we did differently was open up the journal writing to the entire staff. We were surprised and thrilled by the response, with secretaries, instructional assistants, the principal and a variety of other teachers volunteering. Some asked for a student with whom they had a connection. We gave the counselor and principal kids we thought could use a little extra mentoring. Some were happy to write to whoever. All in all, it was a really positive experience for kids and staff members. Students got their journal every Friday and had to write over the weekend. Staff members got the journals on Mondays and had to have it back to teachers by Friday morning. Of course, there were  a few bumps in the road. Some kids & teachers needed to be hounded. Some things of concern showed up in journals and they were shared with the counselor. But the growth the kids showed from September to June is astounding. I think they were delighted and surprised when they looked at it with a critical and reflective eye.

It’s a big job and we are talking over how and if we will do it again next year. I am hoping we do.

4 Responses to “Journals’ end”

  1. K. Renae P. June 3, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    I’m trying out interactive journals next year. I’m nervous about changing things up so much but I’m excited.

  2. Adrienne June 3, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    They are a lot of work, but it is so worthwhile; you learn so much about the kids. This was our first year of asking the wider community. We let them write about anything this year. Other years we have done reading journals, where that have to tell us about what they are reading and what it makes them think about.

  3. Jennifer Sniadecki June 3, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

    Great idea to keep going! I love learning about the students as I read what they think!

  4. arjeha June 3, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    I love this idea! What a great way to get other adults involved and let students know that that they were writing not just for their teacher but for others as well.

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