CM . . . .
Volume I Number XI . . . . August 25, 1995
Journals in the Classroom
Judith Ann Isaacs and Janine S. Brodine.
Winnipeg: Peguis Publishers, 1994. 124pp, paper, $17.00.
English language-Composition and exercises-Study and teaching (Elementary).
Language arts (Elementary).
Kindergarten - grade 6 / Ages 5 - 11.
Review by Harriet Zaidman.
. . . go slowly, introduce one idea at a time, and allow both the
children and yourself to become comfortable with journaling. Keep
thinking of how those basketballs bounce off the backboard and expect to
see as misses as scores.
The sub-title of this book is "A Complete Guide for the Elementary
Teacher," which sums up the contents of this clearly written and
practical guide to teaching journal-writing in the elementary school. The
authors are both highly experienced in teaching writing, literacy skills,
and everything related, and this book is the product of work done for a
course they developed on teaching journal-writing to teachers.
Writing in a journal (or log) is a common practice in schools
nowadays, but many teachers find the pressures of the daily school work
leads them to neglect the journal-writing activity.
So the sports analogy in the excerpt above is appropriate. Without
trying over and over, without coaching, one might have all the natural
talent in the world, but it would never be refined and developed to its
peak. The same holds for reading and writing; they are skills that
improve with practice.
Journals in the Classroom provides step-by-step
analysis of the theory behind journal-writing, types of journals,
different techniques that can be used (free-writing, listing, altered
point of view, and unsent letters, to mention only a few), how to
introduce journals (including a section on parental involvement),
journals across the curriculum, lessons, activities and unit plans, and
more. It includes a question-and-answer section, pointers on using
journals in different learning situations, and advice on the evaluation
The authors stress that successful journal-writing must take place
on a daily basis, and that it takes two to three years for teachers to
fully develop their skills in teaching journal-writing. Using the myriad
hands-on suggestions provided here as a guide, teachers have ample opportunity to
find the teaching style and type of journal that suit them and the needs
of their curriculum.
Journals in the Classroom is an excellent resource to
have on hand through an entire school year, from kindergarten to grade
six. It also has many ideas applicable to secondary grades.
Harriet Zaidman is a Winnipeg teacher/librarian.
To comment on this title or this review, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 1998 the Manitoba Library Association.
Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice
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TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - August 25, 1995.
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