Writing in our journals

I admit it.  I have never been a good journal teacher.  Even when I taught 5th grade way back when I just found it difficult to manage.  How to you continue to help kids grow in their journals and check in and get all the other stuff done.  It seemed like an impossible task. 

So this year, I have put it on my I must accomplish, is to have successful journal time.  And, believe it or not... I am actually enjoying it.  The kids have grown so much.  On Friday, I told them they need to be the writers.  I want to see what they know.  Of course, there is one or two who are stuck to me like glue and require me to hover over them to get their words our.  But today I saw a rainbow of amazing writing! 

So let's start here.  This student used words that are not in the room.  Soldiers are brave.  Well, soldier was available to them but the rest was all on his own.  Amazing!  Also, notice the lines.  This is now I know they are planning their writing.  They draw lines for each word they want to say.

Notice this one.  Great job.  But, see that question mark.  That is because I had a question on the example paper.  It was a great opportunity to discuss when to use and not use a question mark.

Now this one is great.  But every paper in her journal is I like __________.  Boring.  So I told her she could no longer write that sentence without an additional sentence to go with it. 

I love this one the most, because he didn't just draw a soldier like me.  He drew the tank.  Here we discussed the use of I as a capital and we need spaces between our words.

This student gave up.  She couldn't figure out soldier, although it was on the board.  But I still have her big props for giving it a try.  So I need to work on initial consonant with this one!

So, I hope I continue to see growth.  Of course I will right?  But believe it or not, the journals are almost FULL!  I think I have until Christmas before they will need a new journal.  Yeah!  What kinds of journals do you use?

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