At the end of the week's activities or at the end of a unit of instruction, students reflect on the cumulative activities. This activity encourages students to review past experiences and plan for future applications. The act of writing reinforces what was learned.
Divide paper into three sections. Record "What I Did," "What I Learned," and "How I Can Use It."
In a Reflective Journal entry the student identifies the activity, then reflects on the material learned.
A higher level of critical thinking occurs when one is aware of one's thought processes. In the Metacognitive Journal, students analyze their own thought processes following a reading or other activity. The Metacognitive Journal encourages students to reflect on their reading processes, their final drafts, or their presentations.
Key questions: What enabled you to gain the most from this experience? What would you do differently if you had more time?
On the left side of the paper, the student records--What I Learned. On the right side of the paper--How I Learned It.
A Learning Log is a written response to literature but may be used to respond to other texts. The left column entries may be verbatim text, research notes, lecture notes, vocabulary, or questions. The right column entries are student responses to, interpretations of, or analyses of the left column entries.
The dialectical journal is a type of double-entry note-taking which students use while reading literature. In the two columns students write notes that dialogue with one another, thereby developing critical reading and reflective questioning.
Double Entry Journal
The Double Entry Journal allows students to record their responses to text as they read. In the left-hand page or column, the student copies or summarizes text which is intriguing, puzzling, or moving, or which connects to a previous entry or situation. In the right-hand page or column, the student reacts to the quotation or summary. The entry may include a comment, a question, a connection made, an analysis. Entries are made whenever a natural pause in the reading occurs, so that the flow is not interrupted constantly.
Speculation about Effects Journal
Here the student examines events and speculates about the possible long-term effects resulting from such events. This type of journaling encourages the student to anticipate the effects of the event(s) experienced.
The student divides the paper in half. On the left side, the student records "What Happened"--on the right, "What Could Happen Because of This."
Journal Writing Activities
When students finish writing in their journals, the teacher might: 1. Save the writings for future use. 2. Assign volunteers read their responses and lead the discussion into the day's lesson. 3. Read each response aloud, then use class time for group revising and rewriting. 4. Use journals for closure. Allow five minutes at the end of class for students to write their own observations or summaries. During this time the teacher may wish to write his or her own reflections. 5. Interrupt a lecture with a five-minute writing to help students focus or to help them reveal their understanding. 6. Interrupt a discussion with writing to help the discussion change direction, to get back on the point, or to encourage more students to participate. 7. Use learning logs to solve a problem. Writing helps clarify thinking. Students often discover solutions while writing about problems. 8. Use writing to identify a unifying theme and support it with references to the work studied.
Source ED 295 127
Jacobson, Annette, ed. Essential Learning Skills across the Curriculum, Oregon State Department of Education, 1987. 58