Sunday, January 9, 2011

Kinder, Gentler Journaling

Teachers at any grade level and/or subject area can use journals as a way for students to improve writing skills and explore ideas that are important to them.  Many times, however, students end up complaining or running into "Woe is Me" themes.  Who wants to read that all the time?  Tweak your writing prompts to encourage students to find solutions to problems instead of whining about the troubles they see in the world.  While our goal is for students to identify problems, too much naming-all-the-evil-in-the-world rarely leads to anything positive.

As students begin to develop ideas for ways to improve the world (instead of just complaining about what is wrong) there will be a magical shift in their thinking.  Even if their solutions are impractical, they have begun to search for the positive; further, tackling problems will empower them and may lead to action.  Most importantly, it will stop all the whining.

No comments:

Post a Comment