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March 26, 2013

What is it with you and journals?

"What is it with you and journals??" 

asks my husband, as I leave the bookstore with yet ANOTHER brand new journal!

I looooooove journals.  I really love them.  I can't get enough of them. I wish I had more time to actually write in them. I love to write about everything and anything. I also love the feel and smell of a brand new journal, but also of one that is full of thoughts.  It's one of my little quirks.  
These are some of my favourite journals right now:

 Letters to my Mother is my most private one.  I won't let anyone read it, not even my husband.  My mother passed away suddenly when I was 17 years old and this journal is filled with everything that I've never told her and questions that I wish she could answer. 

My Teaching Journal is one of my favourites also.  This is where I write about all the funny little things that students say and do.  I keep special memories of all of my students in there.  When I have a bad day, this journal ALWAYS makes me smile.

 And this is my latest journal, full of funny, crazy, weird, but also some serious, philosophical prompts.  Something for everyone and a great cure for writer's block!

We all know how important daily journal writing is.  I mean, we're teachers, right? Even as little as 10 minutes a day can highly benefit our students!  Here are some ideas and suggestions to keep journals interesting and fun for the kids:

  • Give students a choice when it comes to the topic they have to write about.
  • Give students topics that they can relate to.  It’s much easier to write about something you understand and know a lot about than it is to write about something that doesn’t interest you at all.
  • Come up with a list of writing prompts with the students at the beginning of the year!  That way, you find out exactly what they want to write about!
  • Prompt different writing genres to keep it fresh.  Students can make lists, write procedures, write letters, make up storiesand the list goes on and on.
  • Keep a list of writing prompts glued on the inside cover of each journal.  Students pick one that interests them each day and write about it.
  • Have classroom journals!  I got this great idea from Life... as I Know it.  Each journal has ONE topic only and students all write an entry in it.  To extend this activity, you could allow time for them to read the previous entries and comment on them as well.

As much as we know how important it is for our students to write every day, we also know that it can sometimes be difficult to come up with original writing prompts. And let's face it, we dread hearing "I have nothing to write about!" when we give them a free choice.

Here to help you is my latest set of FREEBIES!  
One hundred writing prompts in English or in French!  Enjoy!

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  1. Fantastic! You made me want to go out and buy a new journal =)

  2. Good to hear! There's nothing quite like the feel of a brand new journal! ;)

  3. Thanks so much for this! I love journals too, but I also have a fear about it being read so I don't always write my most private thoughts down. I definitely would love to keep a teaching journal - maybe that will be my new beginning? Thanks ;)
    Doodling Around in 6th Grade

    1. That is also one of my fears, and I have destroyed several journals once they were full because I didn't want anyone to read the. I regret that now. I wish I still had them. Keeping a teaching journal doesn't have to be too personal and it's a great place to go back to when you feel a little down about your career.

      Since I posted this, I have started a Mother/Daughter journal with my teenager and a My Quotable Kid journal that I fill with all the crazy, funny, weird things my 6 year old says. :)


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