Getting to Know Your Students with Weekend Journals

Friday, July 8, 2016
Weekend Journals are a wonderful tool for allowing students to share everything they'd probably rather tell you as soon as they walk in the door on Monday morning but you don't have time to listen to. #sadtruth  

I can't take credit for inventing weekend journals.  I am sure there are probably 474,083 other teachers who already do this.  I learned about them while in my first long term position back in October of 2012.

The concept is simple: A journal for students to write in on Monday as morning work. 

The pages in our journals look like this:

I know some teachers may send it home Friday and get parents involved with responding back or whatnot.  I have learned very quickly that many things you send home expecting to get back, you never see again.  At least that is how it is for me.  If the Friday thing works for you, I'd love to hear about it!

I made sure to add detailed instructions with expectations and a checklist on the back.

 I have these copied 2 sided and stapled into a packet for about 15 weeks worth.

  On a good day, I read EVERY.SINGLE.ONE.  Or actually, they read them to me!  On a great day this takes about 20 minutes.  On an off day, closer to 40. Sometimes I have them share with a partner.  Or I pick a few to read to the whole group. It really just depends. I do LOVE hearing all about what they did over the weekend and it really provides insight into their world outside of school.



I try not to mark them up TOO much.  But I do expect them to spell word wall and spelling pattern words correctly.

To summarize, here are the 3 things I love about weekend journals:
1) Focuses their energy on story-telling through writing about a topic they LOVE to tell about {well, unless they were sick all weekend}
2) I learn SO much about their life outside of school ALL YEAR LONG
3) Morning work on Mondays is consistent, predictable and needs no directions/explanation once it is properly launched

If you are interested in my weekend journal template, you can find it  FOR FREE in my TPT store right here--->  Weekend Journal Template
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Freebie-Weekend-Journal-Pages-2630264


What is your favorite tool for getting to know your students? Do you use a journal?

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