One of the most frequent suggestions for ways to improve your writing is to do more of it! Most recommendations are to set a specific time and write every day, keeping a log, or journal, of your thoughts and feelings, more than just a diary
notation about the weather, who you talked to, what you ate, etc. You might make the distinction between the two this way:
A Diary is a description of daily events: what happened in your life on a single day.
But we shrink from this simple idea, often feeling that we have nothing to say, or no time in which to work on it, or any of dozens of other excuses. Here are some ideas and suggestions, and links to other resources, which can help you as a teacher, and also your students, to become more fluent as writers.
A Journal contains your reflections on what took place, allows you to express your emotions and understandings in response to these events, and it may become a series of ongoing, related pieces of writing.
To help make it easier for you and for your students weve prepared a journaling booklet in PDF format, so that all you need to do is print out one copy and then follow these instructions for photocopying and assembling them.
Making your Journal
- The pages are printed on regular 8 1/2 x 11 paper, so there are two journal pages on each sheet. Download all 10 pages and organize them into sets, putting 1 and 2 together, 3 and 4, and so on.
- Decide how many copies you need, and begin by printing that many plus two of page one (the extras are "insurance" in case there is a problem when you print the back side).
- If you have access to a high-end copier, you may be able to print both sides at once. Otherwise, return the printed pages to the paper tray in such a way that you can now print page two on the back side.
- Continue these steps, printing page three on blank paper, and page four on the back, then pages five and six, etc. When you are finished, you should have five sets of printed pages.
- Once all the pages have been printed, each sheet must be folded in the center. Make sharp creases. Fold all of one page, and keep them in a stack, then the next page, and so on.
- After all the pages are folded, the booklets can be collated. Line up the stacks so that you pick up the center page first, then put the next one over it, then the next, ending with the outside page. Place this booklet on a new stack and continue the collating process.
- Binding the booklets can be easily done with a long-reach or "saddle" stapler placing two staples on the crease, or you can punch four to six small holes along the center fold and using colored yarn, string the thread through the holes. Tie it off on the outside.
Other Web Sites to Try
Here are some links to other web sites which have good ideas and suggestions regarding journaling.
This web site offers dozens of links, as well as ideas and suggestions on how to go about the journaling process.
Journaling for creativity, health, & parenting by Lucia Capacchione. Part of a therapy web site, but still full of good ideas and suggestions.
Journal Writing: How to do it
From the Saskatoon Public Schools, This practical guide works at many grade levels and provides tips on adapting journal writing to various disciplines, including math, science, and art.
Journal Writing Tips
Intended for personal journals, this page consists of a series of easy-to-follow steps to get started. April Rogers provides some techniques to help get the most out of keeing a journal.
Journal Writing Workshop
This workshop consists of three sections: Journal Writing Exercises, Journal Writing Concepts and Journal Writing Features, but it also offers resources,a newsletter, and a monthly contest.
Journal for You!
This is an online blog about journaling, done as a journal, with lots of hints, ideas, and suggestions.