Sunday, February 19, 2012

Report Card Coma / Journal Magic

I decided to take a break from what seems to be an endless process of filling out report cards to post a quick snip it. As I peered around my classroom yesterday, I tried to get motivation for my next blog post. Then it hit me... journal!! Last year journals were my nemesis.. well that and may classroom library but that is for another day!
Last year I was teaching 2/3 Reading and Writing and each time it was time to journal write I got the infamous.. "I don't know what to write!!!" I tried giving open ended prompts, allowing free choice, and even modeling till I was blue in the face. After having a student spend the entire journal time writing the lyrics to Baby Got Back ( with illustrations) I decided to pack in the journal writing for the year! Just never quite worked.
So this year, I decided to fight the bull head on, and get my students active in the journal writing process, and look forward to the journaling time. So how did I do this? Great question.... Junie B. Jones! She is my journal lifesaver! We have read a wide variety of her books and my first grade students LOVE them! After finishing our first one, we modeled how to write a journal entry. I spent about 4 day modeling this to them. We also discussed ideas of things they could talk about in their first grade journal. After that I cut the children loose to write and I was impressed! At this point in the year some of the students have moved away from this format, and chose to write their own topics in paragraph form, which is totally fine with me. But, for those students who was unsure how to answer a prompt, and create a journal entry this was the way to go!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Kick Off Post

Well I guess this is it! My very first post on my very first teaching blog! After having spent months following others blogs, and even blog stalking, I realized it was time to jump in on the exciting blogosphere. I have spent quite a while pondering and planning the focus of my blog. I believe that much like my teaching, it will grow and change. As I try new things, reflect on those attempts, and tweak the process, my blog will become more effective and efficient. In the meantime, I am so glad that you are reading this and hope that my blog will assist you in some small way each and every day you spend in your classroom.