Sunday, September 25, 2016

Daily Journal Writing in Kindergarten!

Autumn Writing Journals:

This is the perfect time to get your students writing EVERY day.

My kindergarten students started out the year copying a group sentence or attempting to complete the sentence by filling in the last word. 

These are four different sentences that we copied in our journals over one week.
We copied one each day and I covered all of the other sentences so only one showed at a time.
Check out these autumn themed daily writing journals 
with a five-point rubric. 
Use this template to create excitement and interest in daily writing. 

Click the image above to grab the set of all 5 templates. 
The rubric is the same one I used all year long, only the cute icons change with the seasons. 
1. I wrote my name.
2. I used spaces between my words.
3. I used a capital and a period.
4. I sound-blended
5. I wrote neatly.

You can get the entire set of 5 journal templates by clicking on the image above. 

Then, they brought their journal up to me and I used a marking pen to place a dot on each icon that they earned.
This is my generic journal template which may be used at any time of the year.
The teacher uses a marker to place a dot on each earned icon.

Then, each student gets to color in each earned icon. 
Students get to color in each icon that has a dot.
Notice that spelling is not a factor.
This student clearly attempted to sound-blend, so they earned that icon.
The period was left off. I inserted it in red ink and did not dot that icon. 

This is what my students looked like while writing in their daily journals:
My students write on the slanted surface of
3-ring binders. Did you know that it's almost
impossible to write letters from the bottom up
while using a slanted surface? 
This is one of their first journals.
They copied their sentence from a chart. 

I stored the journals in a tote tray in the order that my students turned them in to me. This way, the child who gave me their journal last was the first one to get their journal the next day! That child needs the most time, so they get their journal first. 
Journal pages and a construction paper cover.
The cover says, "If you give a kid a pencil..."
What About The Early Finisher???
If you have a few students who finish way before the others, let them be your special helpers. Give them a pointer and ask them to check the students who are still working and remind them to include certain things while writing. 
I got all 3 of these for $1 at the Dollar Tree.
I added the labels. 

Here are examples of what they can tell the working students:
1. Captain Capital- Check papers for a capital letter at the beginning of the first word.
2. Punctuation Pointer- Check papers for a period at the end of the sentence.
3. Neatness Nurse- Check papers for neatly written letters.
4. Space Cadet- Check papers for spaces between words.
(You may have more than one child for each job.)

Remember, daily writing is NOT a test. We want students to be successful and earn as many icons as they can. Reminding them of these skills helps to build their confidence because it will help them to earn more icons. You can use this template to test writing skills, but not during Daily Writing time. 

Their journals becomes a wonderful sample of each student's successful attempts at writing and should be shared with parents at your next parent-teacher conference. 

My next post will be about October Math Ideas! 


  1. Do you have your kids make books, too, or just write in journals?

  2. Hi, At "Journal Time" we either copy a sentence, copy & finish a sentence, or write our own sentence to answer a prompt. We write our own books, contribute to class books, and make "Silly Sentences" (I'll blog about that soon) during small group time. The post I wrote just prior to this one is about using sentence frames during small group time that may be used to create a class book. Our daily journal time is for practicing specific skills like using certain sight words, leaving spaces between words, using a period, or to practice sound-blending as students attempt to fill in the last word or write their own sentence. After copying and filling in the blank for most of the month, I like to end the each journal with them attempting to write their own complete sentence. Let me know if you have any other questions. Hope this helps. :)