Monday, December 29, 2014

Seasonal Writing Journals With Built-In Rubric & a Winter FREEBIE

Individual Journals For Each Child:

I just finished making new journal pages that come complete with a rubric on each page that has  seasonal icons.  I also included a generic journal page with a rubric made from cute pencil icons.
Click the image.

This is how it works:

You copy enough of one of the journal pages to create an individual journal for each student.  I usually copy about 20 pages, I add a card stock front and back cover, and I allow my students to decorate the cover however they like.  (I write their names on the front with a wide-tip marker first.)
Click the image.

Each day, we create a sentence on the front board together.  Something simple like, "I like cats."
After we read it together, we brainstorm other words we could use to complete the sentence "I like..." and I write those on the board. 

 I erase all of the ideas and the word "cats" from my sentence and I replace it with a blank line.  

I ask the students to turn to the first journal page, write their name and illustrates what they like.  

Then, they copy the words "I like" and fill in the blank with whatever they drew in their illustration box.  

As students finish, they come up to me and I quickly go over the rubric with them.  If they included an element listed in the rubric I place a dot on that icon with a marking pen.  I also cross out any icons not earned and I write the total number of points earned on the line at the bottom of the page.

Last, the student colors in the earned icons and places their journal into a tub.  This way, the first child done places their journal in the box first and it will be on the bottom of the pile.  The last child done will place their journal on the top of the pile.  The next day we use our journals, the children who need the most time will get their journals first and the children who need less time get their journals last.  

A FUN Activity For Students Who Finish Early:

As students return their journals to me with their icons colored in, I let them choose a classroom pointer and I assign them a job.  I ask the first child who is done to be Captain Capital and check the journals of the students who are still working to see if they remembered to begin their sentence with a capital.  I ask the next child to choose a pointer and be my Punctuation Pointer and remind students to include a period at the end of their sentence.  I ask the next students to be my Space Cadet and check to see if students are leaving spaces between their words and I ask a student to be the Neatness Nurse and to remind students to write neatly.  You can have more than one of each of these helpers.  

These are GREAT to share with parents:

They show growth over time.  I love how the first few pages will often just have scribbles, but very quickly the students begin to copy and attempt to sound-blend words.  As their writing develops, I eliminate more words from my sentence until students are writing their own complete sentence!  I use lots of sight words so the sentences are easy for them to write and I use Heidi's Sight Word Songs from Heidi's Songs.  CLICK HERE or on the image below to grab her amazing songs that help children learn how to read and spell sight words.  
My students LOVE these songs!

Grab your journal pages and FREEBIE here:

You can grab four seasonal journal pages plus one generic page by CLICKING HERE or on the image below.
Click the image and grab your FREEBIE in the preview.

You can find lots more FREEBIES like this one by clicking this button:

Click this button to see more FREEBIES.

This is a great way to start the new year with your students!  Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Thanks for the shout out, Palma! Great post, by the way! I love the suggestions for the early finishers!

    1. Thank you, Heidi! My students LOVE your songs! Have a great new year! :)

  2. I love the penguin graphic - it is super cute!