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    journals (long)
    By sm3rd

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    We do journals each week in our third grade class. I have it scheduled for once a day but we usually don't get to them that often. We started the first day of school and my students "love" journaling. The way I do journaling is the following:
    Our journal time is for the students to be given a writing prompt or subject usually based on our reading story or a unit we are covering at the time to write about.
    It is a time for them to write as much as or as little as they want. They know it will not be graded or corrected (that is the hard part). I feel there is a time for process writing, grammar writing etc but journaling is not used for that.
    They include a picture to go along with their entry. At times the students have an opportunity to share their journals with the class.
    After they turn them in I read each one and comment about each child's journal entry. This is usually just a comment about what they have written about or an experience I have had similiar to the one they are writing about. The students love to get their journals back and read my comments. Sometimes I ask them a question and they then write back to answer.
    I feel journaling is a powerful learning idea. Students need a time of "free" writing when they can be creative!
    There are also times when my students go on trips during the year with their families. Part of their class assignments includes taking their journal with them and journaling each day about their events. When they come back they read to the class what they did while they were gone.
    Let me know if you have any questions!
    Go for the journaling!!!!

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