I LOVE using Writing Journals with my students. So much, that I am doing a blog series about Writing Journal Ideas for Elementary Students! Welcome to Part 1!
Creating Writing Journals
To get started you will need some writing journal ideas of the type of journals that you want to create for or with your students. There are so many ways that you can create writing journals in your classroom. Here are a few ideas:
Super Simple Journal Idea
The simplest way is to get some paper and staple it together! Voila! Instant journal. It probably won’t hold up too well, but it is good in a pinch, or to make temporary journals for specific topics or skills. To make this type of journal a little more durable, you could make a cover with construction paper, or my favorite, colored cardstock. You could also print on the cardstock if you want to make your own journal covers. This is my favorite cardstock (Amazon Affiliate link):
I love composition notebooks. They even make pre-made composition notebook journals! It is easy enough to create a cover that you like, have the kiddos decorate it with writing ideas (or whatever you want) and glue it to the front of the composition notebook! The drawback is that unless you get the notebooks with the primary lines, these are generally already college or wide lined. Also, adding to this type of journal can be a little more difficult. The kiddos will have to do some cutting and gluing. It is hard to remove pages as well. That being said, they are pretty durable, and everything is in one place.
I like a good spiral notebook. The main advantage is the same as the composition notebooks. There is plenty of paper and it’s all together in one place. I use spiral notebooks for my kiddos to keep up with their word work. As a writing journal though, there are a few drawbacks. My students somehow manage to pull part of the spiral out. Then this extra metal is pokey. It pokes the kiddos, it gets caught on clothing, it makes it hard to store. This one is probably my least favorite, to be honest.
Binders are by far my favorite type of writing journal. It is easy to put in the paper and take it out. I love that you can put things in the pockets on the front and back covers for reference or decoration. You can easily make different sections by adding tabs. When the kiddos come to the rug for writing lessons, if they bring their binder they have a flat surface to write on, they don’t need a separate clipboard. There are some downsides of course. Papers can easily rip off the rings. You have to have all pages 3 hole punched. If your students drop their binders, they can accidentally open the rings and you have a huge mess!
Now, I am no expert on digital anything, to be honest. One way that I had my students keep a digital journal was for the students to create a document in Google Drive, then share it with me. They titled their journal: First name Last name journal. Then I had access to their journals through my drive. I am sure that there is an easier way. I bought this wonderful product from Brittany Washburn to help me and my students navigate Google Docs. It is called Google Docs Lessons for Beginners.
So, now the moment that you have been waiting for! The freebie! You will find a journal cover printable that will work for any of the journal styles that you choose. Click HERE to get your journal covers freebie!
Are you looking for something mentioned in this post? You can find it and more in my Amazon Storefront. If you purchase anything from Amazon through these links I receive a small commission at no cost to you! HERE!
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