This past summer I figured out a way to incorporate more writing into my weekly teaching by creating a series of Whole Class Journals. I blogged about it here, but the gist of it is that each notebook has a prompt that each student will respond to it in 2 complete paragraphs. They write in the journal once a week during Language Arts centers, picking a new journal/topic each week. The kids love these journals because they get to read what their peers say, they enjoy the variety of topics offered and the love only having to write 2 paragraphs. I have seen AMAZING growth in their writing over the weeks. I started out using my Personal and Imaginative Journal topics since they are the most familiar with this genre. Then, I moved onto the Compare and Contrast set which went great with skills associated with summary writing. For this semester I introduced my Informative Set to help them learn how to explain things but I needed another set too focus of skills associated with Response to Literature. I didn't want to include a story and have the students respond to it for fear that they would copy what the person ahead of them had written. So I created prompts that would ask the students to come up with character traits for real people, rather than characters from a story.... and that is how this new set was formed:
I include some thinking maps on the inside cover to help the students organize their ideas better.Teachers Pay Teacher Store on sale now!