Want to add a twist to the way your kids respond to their independent reading? If you have never used dialogue journals, then this will be a game-changer for your ELA classroom.
We all want kids to respond to reading to evaluate their comprehension, their thinking. This is just another way to do that.
A dialogue journal is a notebook that each child has and uses it to respond in letter form to his/her teacher about their independent reading book.
Included in this product, is a sample of a letter that can be used with your kids, as well as, a checklist of what should be included with their response. I created both documents in two sizes so that they will fit into a standard composition notebook.
The idea is that you respond to their letter each time they write. If you have a large class, I would stagger how often to submit their journals so that you don’t have to be reading and responding for days.
This can be used with the whole class or just a select few. Kids love doing it, but it doesn’t work if you don’t respond. Kids are encouraged to ask questions so that you can give your thoughts and then respond and you, in turn, will also ask a question.
You do not need to have read every book. You will be able to ask the right question to get any clarity.
In terms of grading, I would not grade them but to use them to clear up confusion and ask questions. We want the kids to be able to express thoughts about what they are reading. If you need to have a grade maybe just grade it for completion, clarity or participation. You will be guiding them with your questions and comments. This should be a safe place for kids to express their thoughts and ideas about the books they read. You are giving them feedback each time you correspond with them. I would also cautious about marking up their letters as this could stifle their freedom to express if they feel they need the “right answer”. Of course, you can do what you would like.
Don't worry about knowing every book your kids write about because that would be impossible. You will glean so much through their writing and be able to get the gist and ask questions so you will learn more.
This journal can be assigned when your students are not meeting with you. This can also be used in conjunction with a book club as a way to pre-write in order to discuss the book of choice.
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