Have you been struggling to find a way to engage all of your students in writing activities? I was too until I found these daily writing journals! Keep reading below to learn more about prepping and using daily writing journals in your classroom!
Color Coding Journals
One of the best and easiest ways to organize the students in your class is to color code. Teaching in a self-contained classroom, I typically have the same students year after year. Each year, my students are given the same color as the previous year to make all of our lives easier. The students are able to identify their belongings within the classroom, such as schedules, folders, and their writing journals. I am able to easily look at the schedule to see which student I am working with and grab their journal just by looking at the color. I keep all of my students writing journals in a basket, so being able to know which journal goes with which student just by looking at the color is such a time saver! Once you choose which color will identify each student, print the cover page on that color paper and laminate it. Then set it aside until you decide which level your students will need.
Choosing Appropriate Levels
The daily writing journals, found here, are available in four different levels.
- Level 1: errorless with or without choice (360 prompts, total)
- Level 2: cut and paste with visual supports (180 prompts)
- Level 3: cut and paste without visual supports (180 prompts)
- Level 4: written response with or without word bank (360 prompts, total)
Most of my students are comfortable using the Level 2 writing prompts, however, one of my students is working through Level 1 with a choice. You want to choose a level that is appropriate for each of your students without them becoming frustrated. In the Simply Special Ed shop, you’ll see a bundle of all four levels. Here you can view all four levels to decide what is best for your students! Each level is available individually, as well. Once you decide which levels you need, print and bind together with the appropriate cover, and you’re ready to begin!
Setup for Teaching
There are several ways for you to use daily writing journals with your students. If your students are using Level 1 journals, you could have them circle, color, or use a bingo dauber to record their responses. My student thoroughly enjoys using bingo daubers, so I offer several color choices. Whether they are using a field of one or a field of two, either response choice is correct.
Levels 2 and 3
Prepping for Levels 2 and 3 journals can look different for each student. For three of my students, I highlight around the dotted lines, but allow them to cut and glue independently. I then mix up the order of the words, and work with them to sequence the sentence correctly. For another one of my students, I cut the words out and write out the sentence in the space for matching and proper sequencing. The same options can be used for Level 3 journal users!
Level 4 journals require a little less prep than the other levels. For this level, you can choose to have a word bank for students or no word bank. Some students may require you to provide a sentence starter for this level, while others may be independent. You know your students the best!
Now that you have some ideas on how to prep your daily journals, which levels will you be using? How will you prep and differentiate for your students? If you’re interested in a more in-depth look at the daily writing journals, you can read about them here!