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A First Day of School Journal Prompt

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In my experience, students tend to have not done enough thinking about their learning, or how their learning is related (or not related!) to their grades. I want to change that.

This is a kind of complex journal prompt I used on my first day with my students this year. It starts by asking students to mark where they think they fall on two scales: one asking what % grade they want in my class, and another asking how they feel about grades and learning.

The second piece of this prompt asks students to write a page explaining their choices.

(I did change some things about this that were more specific to my algebra 1 classroom. I am uploading it as a Word document so that you can tailor the wording / format / whatever to fit your needs.)

I want my students to either begin or continue to think about school in the context of learning, not just of grades. I hope that this is a step in the right direction.

Either way, what I got definitely told me a LOT about my students - even beyond the raw data you get as to what grade each student wants as well as how he or she intends to get it and how he or she feels about learning. I also learned whether they follow directions, write in complete sentences, write creatively or verbatim rephrase questions into answers, and so much more.

I hope you find this useful, or at least start considering using similar ideas in your own classroom! Thank you so much for visiting my store!

Daily Journal - Goals and Learning by Lydia Fernandez is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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