Wait for it Wednesday { journal writing hacks }

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
We've all heard this before ~ ~ ~ " I don't know what to write about?"  How do you handle it?  Well I have some journal writing hacks that you can use right away that just might help you.  Welcome to :

It's crucial for kids to write, yes?  Of course it is and it's equally important to be introducing, modeling and reinforcing the skills needed for each genre of writing.  Informational, Narrative and Opinion mostly.  

How can you get your students writing to STAND out more and have them become more confident writers in the process?

I've taught preschool - 4th grade ~ ~ spending most of my time in first.  I've met all kinds of writers in my day....reluctant writers, die hard writers that could write for days, messy writers ~ ~ you name it!  Teaching writing is quite a dance:  you don't want to frustrate your writers who already don't have the desire to write but you need to show them the corrections to make them better.  You get me here right?!!?  I'm hoping these tips will help you through some of your harder journal writing moments:

Prepare your students for when they get 'stuck'.  Be sure they have a system set up for when they need a little assistance.  For instance, I have an area set up that they can go to that has writing prompt ideas and word lists by topic.  Sometimes this is all they need to get started.  Ideas include:  word banks, personal dictionaries & writing prompts.  If you click the picture it will take you to my journal writing prompt cards which include: informational, narrative, and opinion writing.

Have them highlight the capitals and periods - either as they go along or when they go back and re read.  This serves 2 purposes.  One ~ ~ it makes sure they are editing their own work by re reading and looking for mistakes.  Two ~ ~ they actually really love doing this so it makes writing more fun and engaging for them.  They like to go back and use a highlighter or crayon and hunt for periods and capitals.  I often hear my students say, " oh my gosh I forgot to put the capital there or how did I forget the period?"  It's fun to hear them thinking aloud and it keeps them accountable because they are checking for them.

Another idea that kids love is a visit from the Journal Fairy.  I used this a lot one year in first grade when I had several reluctant writers.  I would sprinkle glitter on their journal and leave a note on their journal page and a very small toy/sticker/etc.  It really motivated them and worked for that group.  I even had students respond to the note I wrote them about their previous days journal.  I have some journal fairy goodies included in this pack...just click the picture to get there: 

Need more ideas to get your kids organized and motivated?!?

* Always, always model and THINK aloud as you do.  So they can see you writing as well as your thought process during it.

*  Glue ribbon in the back of their journal and it will hold their spot each day
* Give them Freedom Fridays ~ ~ a free write day in which you aren't checking their journals and they can write freely and 'for fun'.
* Don't nit pick every day.  Write questions or ask them as you read them so your youngest learners start to realize that they are writing for an audience.
* Let them share their writing at the end of the writing period or end of the day.  The LOVE sharing them out and again kids get to ask questions or respond to their writing so they are again realizing the audience piece to their writing.
*  Have your youngest learners { Pre K - K } start with a picture and tell you about their picture or write one word to go with their picture.

Here's an example of the progression of a Kinder in just a few weeks...pictures, letters attempt and an attempt at a sentence.

Here's a freebie to help you and your students.

or check out these helpful writing resources too:

I hope this has inspired you to beef up your writing block or try something new to inspire your little writers.  Be blessed! 

No comments