Grade: all
Subject: other

#4041. Journal Writing in the Classroom

, level: all
Posted Sat Sep 22 00:49:27 PDT 2007 by William Peters (
Suwon Foreign Language High School, Korea
Materials Required: none
Concepts Taught: Journal writing is a learning tool based on the ideas that students write to learn.

Journal Writing in the Classroom

Journal writing is a learning tool based on the ideas that students write to learn.

What is its purpose?

Students who use journals are actively engaged in their own learning and have the opportunity to clarify and reflect upon their thinking.

Teachers can use journaling as a kind of window into how students are thinking about what they are learning.

to encourage regular writing

to raise questions and issues that fuel classroom discussions

Write personal journal entries to explore their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

Edit a personal journal entry to sharpen their grammar and spelling skills.

Students share their entry with peer editors and edit the work of others to build collaboration skills.

Prewriting Techniques

Brainstorming: listing ideas a quickly as you can think of them

Clustering: brainstorming ideas and connecting the ideas mentally and on paper with circles and lines.


Shape Poem
A shape poem is a poem that describes an object and is written in the shape of the object.
Students will write a shape poem about a particular object. To do this, they well:
►Draw a large shape of the topic.
►Write at least ten words that describe the topic on the outline of the shape.
►Place commas between words in a series.

If I were to try out for American Idol
If I won a million dollars
I hope to learn about____this year because...
When I grow up I want to be...
My best friend is _______, because...
I am brave because . . .
I feel scared whenK
Write about your favorite computer or video game
All about my teacher Mom Dad School Weekends
How to get good grades
Things that drive me batty
How to eat in class
How to sleep in class


Teacher with 100-125 students
10 minutes grading each paper
16-20 will spend hours

Does the student study the errors? Not likely. The time spent grading will not necessarily change the students writing.

Now lets create a different picture set the criteria with the students students form a clearer idea of what is expected.

Involve students

Allow students to pick their best journal entry, revise it, and submit it for peer editing and grading.

In addition, ask students to devise a class journal-writing rubric V that is, establish the criteria for good journal writing.

Reformulation Correction Method

^ means add (put in)
( ) means omit (take out)
> means indent(go 5 spaces to the right)
? means mystery (Rewrite or leave it out)
I means separate (leave a space between these items)

Writers Checklist

Did you KKKKK
H use capital letters?
H write neatly?
H write a topic sentence?
H write at least 3 supporting sentences?
H write an ending sentence?
H use punctuation?
H use good spelling?
H indent your paragraph?
H write in sequential order?
H use details?
H write about the topic?