As I prepare myself for the beginning of another school year, I have a million thoughts swimming around in my head. It's like filling a teacup with a fire hose. My thoughts range from new ways to arrange my classroom to the best ways to engage above-grade level readers. Many of you are planning to incorporate new structures and strategies from The Daily 5 and the Literacy CAFE. Many of us are anticipating the thrill of blogging with our students for the first time. Other fortunate teachers, I'm extremely jealous of this bunch, are in the process of unpacking new iPads for their students as we speak.
The last days of summer seem to be speeding right by. Okay, some of you have already started the school year, and are probably tired of hearing the rest of us lamenting over summer. Forgive me, but sometimes it's ALL ABOUT ME! Or, that's what I tell myself from time to time. As we prepare for a new school year, and as our classrooms and curriculum maps start to take shape on paper or at least in our minds, what's next on our To-Do lists? WRITE IT DOWN!
Over the summer, I purchased a new journal. This is not to say that I have never kept a journal before, because I have. Whenever I attempt something new or major, that I expect to have a positive impact on my teaching, I keep reflection notes about it. After every new lesson, activity, or instructional piece, I try to reflect on what went well, what didn't go so well, new ideas I want to incorporate next time, and things I want to change. I plan to do those same things this year as well. However, this year my plan is to start on the Very First Day Of School. Additionally, I plan to use my newly purchased journal.
What I like about this journal are the writing prompts. Yes, writing prompts are not just meant to support our students' writing endeavors, but they are helpful to adults who are trying to get their writing juices flowing too. Each day's entry consists of two pages. One page of writing prompts, and a second page for documentation/notes. The writing prompts themselves are great. Here are a few examples: I am concerned about..., People/Students that touched my life..., Goals and ideas for a better tomorrow.... If you want to hear more you'll have to purchase one of these fantastic journals from The Write It Down! series at Journals Unlimited, Inc. The website is http://www.journalsunlimited.com/.
It's never too late to start a journal. Keeping good reflection notes is a part of good teaching, regardless of which tool you use to do it. I'm so excited about using my new journal that I couldn't wait to share it with you. Do you keep a personal or professional journal? I would love to hear your comments about how you use journals (for yourself/teaching) because today, it's ALL ABOUT YOU. So, write it down!