Daily Journals

The purpose of this type of journal is to encourage habitual expression of thoughts in writing, to provide for therapeutic release of feelings, and to collect individual writings over a period of time in one notebook.

A journal is a notebook or other semi-permanent container housing the writings of one student. Writing in journals over a period of time provides students with a collection of writings, and can serve as a productive emotional outlet. One compelling way to learn to write is by writing often and regularly. Requiring students to write in journals every day is a powerful technique. You can assign varied types of writing for different writing sessions:

  • explanation
  • description
  • story
  • poetry
  • observation
  • personal experience
  • fable
  • paragraph
  • report
  • letters

Or, you can assign specific topics revolving around personal experiences and feelings:

  • My Most Embarrassing Moment
  • What I'd Like to Change About School
  • My Most Exciting Experience
  • My Best Friend
  • A Plan for an Ideal Day
  • How Kids Con Parents
  • My Most Upsetting Experience
  • The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me
  • An Honor or Award I Received
  • What Makes Me Mad
  • What Makes Me Nervous

Another possibility is to assign a timed writing period every day, but allow complete freedom for the student to express himself in any way and on any topic he chooses.

You may prefer to combine parts of each of these alternatives, sometimes assigning, sometimes allowing free expression. You may decide on weekly or semi-weekly journal entries, rather than daily writing.

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Celebrate the Festival of Lights in your classroom! Hanukkah begins at sundown December 6.

December Calendar of Events
December is full of events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: World AIDS Day (12/1), International Volunteer Day (12/6), Hanukkah (begins at sundown 12/6), Handwashing Awareness Week (12/6-12), Computer Science Education Week (12/7-13), Human Rights Day (12/10), Winter Solstice (12/22), Christmas (12/25), Kwanzaa (begins 12/26), Visit the Zoo Day (12/27), and New Year's Eve (12/31). Plus, celebrate Bingo's Birthday Month, Universal Human Rights Month, and Write to a Friend Month all December long!

Hour of Code
Introduce your students to basic coding and computer science! Celebrate Computer Science Education Week from December 7-13, 2015 with our Top 5 Free Coding Tools for Kids, Top 5 Free Coding Tools for Teens, or the Hour of Code resources provided by Code.org®

Interested in using different types of media in your classroom? We have a growing collection of videos, with related activities, for holidays and events, including: slavery & the Civil War, American History, U.S. Presidents, handwashing awareness, the Common Core, women's history, Memorial Day, the American Revolution, and the environment. Enjoy!

Teaching with Comics: Galactic Hot Dogs
Reach reluctant readers and English-language learners with comics! Our original teaching guides to the Galactic Hot Dogs comic series (chapters 1-4 and 5-8), as found on Funbrain.com (and now in print!), will take students on a cosmic adventure while engaging their creative minds. Plus, find even more activities for teaching with comics, featuring many other classic stories.