Alice Keeler shows how to create writing journals for your class in Google Docs. Keeler takes you step by step, giving you screen shots along the way. There is even an explanation on how students upload documents on their end. The best part of the Google Doc journal, as Keeler says, is that all the information stays neatly arranged in a Google Drive. That means less paperwork to carry around and grade, too!
Jennifer Gonzalez of Cult of Pedagogy interviews Liz Galarza about her use of dialogue journals. Galarza explains how this type of journaling helps build teacher-student relationships. In short, students and teachers engage in year-long letter writing, so they can share their thoughts and comments privately. There is a link to the interview podcast as well, and it's definitely worth a listen!
Penzu Classroom is a great piece of educational software that excels at classroom management. One of its best features it the classroom journal application, which students can complete from home with unique access codes. Teachers can privately and publicly interact with journal posts, and assign them grades individually. It's a great tool all around, and teachers and students alike both really enjoy the interface.
Beginning dialetical journals can be a daunting task, since it requires some abstract thinking on behalf of students. Use this short video, produced by students, to explain what exactly a dialectical journal is. In less than five minutes, students learn how to write their reader responses, organize their journal, take notes on the selected text. You'll be impressed by these students, some of whom I think will become teachers themselves!
TeachHub has a long list of video writing prompts of short videos, talking points, and image blasts. What's really cool about this collection is that each video lists different prompts based on grade-- so the talking point is age-appropriate. Some prompts even ask for a drawing element to accompany the written part, so different types of learners can enjoy the prompts. The list is about 10 pages long, so you have plenty of prompts for the school year!
If you're trying to get your students to write every day, then journaling challenges might be for you. This Pinterest Board provides lists of 30-day journaling challenges. While most of them are written challenges, some call for other artistic mediums, like art or collage journals. You can either assign one from the board to your class, or tell your class to access the board themselves to choose one on their own.
Pop superstar Christina Aguliera shares why she thinks it's important to keep a journal as an artist. She stresses that no emotions should be left out, because the purpose of a journal is to simply let it all out. As Christina says, think of "anything that moves you." This video is a short, passionate snippet worth sharing with students that are new to journaling. It can even be used as a writing prompt!
Neecey Beresford compiles 53 ideas for do-it-yourself journals. You'll find that the list is amazingly artistic, especially with a variety of ways to literally bind the pages-- including using an old Rolodex! There are plenty of pictures and tutorials that are easy to follow. This is a great resource to share with your students at the beginning of the year, so they can design their own journal. The more personal the journals, the more likely students will write in them.
The Journal Swap for Peace is a project that aims to create cultural awareness between students on opposite ends of the globe. The Swap, created by Know Your World, takes many forms from email correspondence to actual letter writing. Most recently, students in Brazil connected with a Wisconsin classroom, and found they had much more in common than they thought. Sign up your class for an exchange today!
Daily Teaching Tools compiled 180 journal prompts, one for each day of the school year- literally! Even if you don't journal every day, at least you'll never have to come up with prompts again. In going through the list, you'll see that the prompts are generally open-ended, non-political, and gender neutral. In fact, some teachers journal along with their students, and they will definitely enjoy these prompts too. This is a must-have bookmark on your desktop!