Learning Journals in the K-8 Classroom is the first comprehensive presentation of how to use academic journals effectively for elementary-level instruction. The text outlines the theoretical foundations for using learning journals and provides step-by-step suggestions for implementing them in every content area and at all levels of elementary instruction.
Learning journals provide resources and support for reading aloud, independent reading, mini-lessons, cooperative study, individual research, workshops, and the portfolio system. The type of interactive writing students do in learning journals helps them explore complex ideas in the content areas, using their own strengths of analysis and response; the journals then become resources for future learning, group discussions, individual conferences, learning assessment, reports, and progress.
Four introductory chapters show teachers how to create their own journals, introduce journals to students, integrate them with cooperative study, and use them for assessment. Additional chapters focus on the individual curriculum areas of literature, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies. The text includes sample entries from student journals at all grade levels and in every content area, and appendices of annotated resources to support journaling and interviews with teachers who use journals in their classrooms.
"Congratulations to the author! This text is a joy. It contains no jargon and meets the needs of content-area teachers who want to integrate writing across the curriculum….The content is well-grounded in constructivist theory and the author links theory with diverse, practical pedagogical classroom applications….(This text) helps us understand the benefits of learning journals for all students, at all grade levels and across all disciplines, irrespective of their academic variabilities, situated in whole language settings or in more traditional classrooms….Readers learn how daily use of learning journals takes students far beyond being passive receptors of information to being active participants in their own learning."
—Janet C. Richards
The University of Southern Mississippi
Contents: Preface. An Introduction to Learning Journals. Using Journals to Explore Ideas and Evaluate Learning. Journal Formats, Guidelines, and Activities. Introducing Learning Journals to Students. Exploring Literature With Learning Journals. Exploring Writing With Learning Journals. Exploring Mathematics With Learning Journals. Exploring Science With Learning Journals. Exploring the Social Studies With Learning Journals. Appendices: Annotated Bibliography of Teaching Resources. Interviews With Teachers Who Use Learning Journals.