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Apr 1, 2015
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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.

Highlights

Children's Choice Book Awards
We love books! Encourage students to vote for their favorite children's book, author, and illustrator of the year at Funbrain and Poptropica. Teens can make their picks too. Read the complete list of nominated books, as well as related activities, and get voting!

April Calendar of Events
April is full events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: April Fool's Day (begins 4/1), Passover (begins sundown 4/3), Easter (4/5), Name Yourself Day (4/9), Encourage a Young Writer Day (4/10), Library Week (4/12-18), Volunteer Week (4/12-18), Holocaust Remembrance Day (begins sundown 4/15), Poison Prevention Week (4/15-21), Earth Day (4/22), Tell a Story Day (4/27), International Jazz Day (4/30). Plus, celebrate Deaf History Month (3/15-4/15), Mathematics Education Month, National Poetry Month, and Youth Sports Safety Month!

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, 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.

Poptropica Teaching Guides
Poptropica is one of the Internet's most popular sites for kids—and now it's available as an app for the iPad! It's not just a place to play games; each of the islands featured on the site provides a learning opportunity. Check out our teaching guides to four of Poptropica's islands: 24 Carrot Island, Time Tangled Island, Mystery Train Island, and Mythology Island.


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