Grade: Elementary

#467. Journal Writing - first grade/posts from the primary board

Reading/Writing, level: Elementary
Posted Sun Jun 14 09:39:18 PDT 1998 by Djinn ().
Concepts Taught: journal writing

Re: Journal writing--first grade
Posted by S.J. on 6/13/98
I teach first grade and do journal writing. I do not use them
everyday--I tried that format for the first year and felt
bogged down.
1. define your goal--why do you want to do journal writing.
(I decided that journals were very beneficial in documenting
children's writing/spelling/growth/. While we would write
everyday, I wanted to be able to send most of the writings
home. I had a sheet called daily writing--used this just
like you would a journal, but the writing went home. 1-2
times a week we do our writing in a journal. I found that
this was sufficient to demonstrate children's skills.
I use the journals at parent teacher conferences/M-teams etc.
I, also, have the students look back and see how their writing
has changed.
2. topics--since we write everyday, I pull topics from
the various things we are studying. I try very hard to cover
all academic areas. Early in the year, we do a lot of pattern
writing. I usually base my sentence patterns on Wright
materials, but many things can be adapted to a writing
pattern. The writing of patterned sentences seems to give
students a boost of confidence and reinforce basic sight
words. The success they feel from completing writing patterns
really helps as we evolve into more independent writings.
3.Each student always reads their daily/journal writing
to me. I try to always point out what letters they have
correctly used in their temporary spellings, may model words
and their spellings/punctuation (always on a positive
note--"look how close you were"/"what special mark do you
want to put at the end of this sentence?")--in other words
we proof read their writings making corrections together.
As the year progresses, I have them do some proofing before
they come to read. (checking for capitals/punctuation).
4. The students in my classroom complete 2 journals by the
end of the year. A very special moment is when they compare
the first sentence/sentences they wrote (usually about the
second week of school) and their last journal entry!!!!!!
They are all surprised at how much they have grown. I then
send the journals home with a special letter to parents, so
that they can see the progress.

Even though, writing goes home on almost a daily basis,
parents are always surprised at the change! So am I!!
I sometimes forget how many skills they have gained until
I take time to look back at "old" journal entries.

Re: Journal writing--first grade
Posted by Lori V., , on 6/14/98
The past 3 years I did journals every day. I might use them as a
2 times per week literacy center this year. We have "3"
journals. The first one which goes for the first month is blank
paper no lines, then we move to story paper, and then to actual
black journal books. I usually give topics, but I have also done
response journals, so I think you can do whatever suits you and
suits how much time you have to correct them.
I think it works out well t o have the first month be frames I
might have I like to eat _________ because_______. Or something
along those lines. I too try to make my topics fit in with what
we are studying. I usually have my kids do the journals first
thing in the AM or at the end of the day. I hope this helps!

Re: Journal writing--first grade
Posted by Corinne on 6/14/98

I give the children two different journals. The first has big
lines, but at the back of the book are pages with primary lines
(not too many lines). In Nov. or Dec. I give out the more
permanent journals that have place for a picture and a page and a
half of primary lines. I let the children develop their writing
by themselves. As it develops, then I will call them up to
conference for spaces between the words, putting in enough sounds,
punctuation like capitals and periods. I write them a short note
for the next day so they remember what to work on. I do teach
this separately too. I don't spell words for them, but tell them
that writing develops; this year, I found it helpful to explain
the stages writing goes through - scribble, making letter-like
symbols, making random letters.... I think this encouraged them;
they learned they did not have to spell every word correctly. I
want to have them write, and not be afraid, as I have seen in the
upper grades. I do assign topics that are usually related to the
story they have read. Writing is usually done independently.