We can journal in so many ways. Old school is paper and pencil and new school is on the computer. Some people journal every day and they don’t even realize it through Instagram or Facebook. The process of putting down your thoughts can come very easily or a constant struggle. So as teachers, it is important to try different ways to promote writing as fun, creative and a skill that they can do!
Whatever the format, I am a firm believer in writing something at least 4 to 5 times a week. It doesn’t have to be every day or the same way, but practicing writing in a relaxed format will entice students to enjoy the art of writing.
At home, we use Day One to journal his daily writing. This app program is a great tool because it is easy to access for a 10 year and monitor as a teacher. Kids can log on, write and send the writing via an email. You can add photos and check your word count during the session. I love how it keeps journaling writing in order and assists with spelling. Grammar check is not included in the program, but we write to write.
Every day you can set a word count goal through PaceMaker. Goals can vary based on the program settings. You can also log your students’ word count on a white board so your student can personally see their growth.
In our school day, journaling is one of the first things we have listed on our to do list.
If you are old school that is cool, you can pull out a lined notebook or purchase a cute journal at the Dollar Store or Target and ask your student to write. Write as much as they want. They can draw pictures and add clippings to the notebook. You can incorporate the word goals, too, but it may take them a little bit to count out each word and document it. That is up to you. I have attached a tracking calendar to use if you wish.
Writing is essential and should be fun and self-directed. Yes, research papers are necessary, but free writing is creative and time to reflect on life. It is very important to teach our kids strategies to promote healthy skills like journaling while building skills to make them successful.
Research:Edutopia: The Importance of Student Journals and How to Respond