I have been using my own Learning Journal for about 3 years in Social Studies and it has been a very successful addition to my lessons. The learning journal has a very specific purpose that supports all curriculum or core expectations. After the lesson, students are to write three interesting facts they learned along with one question they still have. Not only do students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding, it also gives them an opportunity to reflect on what they’ve learned and consider what they would still like to know. Social Studies can be a difficult subject to assess and evaluate now that we’re moving away from students simply memorizing facts about the content and more toward becoming informed citizens who can consider the broader relevance of what they are studying and communicate their ideas effectively.
I like the Learning Journal because students understand that that they are responsible for their learning and therefore, must listen closely and consider the information being taught on a more critical level. Of course, you can also use the Journal to assess non-fiction writing skills, which are also essential for students in the 21st century.
I’ve included a “Vocabulary Page” in this package and this can be used as a space for students to record important content vocabulary. I like to emphasize to my third graders that they are responsible for all aspects of this journal, including spelling, and prior to beginning our work, we always brainstorm the key words we might like to record on our Vocabulary Page.
I hope you find this tool to be as useful as I do. I’ve created two versions of the Journal. One has Canadian clipart and the other Amercian.
Comments and feedback are always appreciated. I hope you’ll have a look at the other items in my store! If you need anything tweaked or customized so that this Journal more suits your personal needs, please let me know, I’m happy to help.
Clipart by: Scrappin' Doodles