Tuesday, March 29, 2011



Writing with kids as you read is a powerful tool to build literacy!
Journaling as you read is the most effective way of understanding a work of literature and strengthening understanding of the writing process at the same time. With journaling you integrate reading and writing, and you will find that you can relate to the story more completely, and experience every image, every conversation, every character, and every interesting adventure. Avoid hasty reading or skimming because it can prevent you from understanding the meaning of the book as a whole. Investigate everything fully; be prepared to learn and be inspired. Never skip a word you don’t know. Stop! Write it down! Seek the meaning! If you do skip the meaning, you are leaving a great treasure behind. Seek those characteristics that skilled writers observe in real life and integrate them into your journals, essays, letters and reports: perseverance, conflict, justice, injustice, challenge, courage, character, adversity, and apprehension. Engaging writing includes exciting precise vocabulary, captivating dialogue, well organized plot, varied complex sentences, and grammatically refined prose with fresh original ideas. When you discover the deeper meaning and relate it to the content, you'll be on your way to understanding and loving books. Using great works of literature to examine, and compare and contrast with your own writing, will build knowledge of how to write great passages and prose yourself.

Writing about reading makes struggling students more secure and comfortable to write with the support of the author’s vocabulary and paragraphs. Writing about reading makes students more independent, competent, motivated, and involved in all forms of academic text.

Writing about reading gives students ideas for their own texts. They reread and reflect upon their writing, which sparks fuller learning.

Writing about reading supports students to take charge of their learning and make connections between different areas of learning. Seeing teachers and parents write in their own reading journals and sharing their writing reinforces the vital importance of writing for life-long learning. It also
emphasizes the public nature of writing.

Journal coaching supports the students as they reach for more complexity in their reading and writing.

Journal coaching supports the students as they acquire the vocabulary and background knowledge to truly understand and enjoy the reading. Journal coaching supports the lowest quartile students as they learn challenging grade-level reading materials.

Journal coaching accelerates the student’s acquisition of vocabulary and reading comprehension.

Journal coaching accelerates the student’s acquisition of the Six Traits of Writing and the writing process.

Ideas for student writing!

  • Rewrite a fable, song, myth, legend or fairy tale
  • Invent why elephants have long noses 
  • Explain why lions have manes
  • Grown ups vs. grown littles 
  • Describe the taste of purple and gold
  • What dose music smell like
  • Invent a new word and give its etymology 
  • Invent a new day of the week (8 day week)
  • Glasses that see 10 minutes into the future
  • Describe the setting of your own planet
  • Describe the imagery of your perfect bedroom
  • You find a pot of gold and a leprechaun
  • Your teacher is a vampire, superhero, alien.....
  • Two day work week
  • The power of Q (Star Trek Fans)
  • Two hours as president
  • Vegetarian Vampire (Bunnicula)
  • Dinner with Hermione Granger
  • Tea With Rubeus Hagrid
  • You find a wand
  • Your parents have to do what ever you say for the day
  • A Jabberwocky ate your homework 
  • You grow a foot overnight
  • A (Sesame Street) monster lives under your be
  • When you sneeze you disappear 

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