Saturday, June 13, 2015

Why Blogging (and Journaling!) is Good for Your Children


 photo fbc13ca0-2562-419f-92fe-b5793fda2b55.jpg
Background:  Shelley's ACT vocabulary journal
Foreground:  An accordion folder of Emily Dickinson's poetry used as part of the plot in the novel Emily's Dresses and Other Missing Things by Kathryn Burak
Happy Perspicacity Saturday! The purpose of these posts is to share with you issues that are important to me (and what I've learned about them).
Today I want to talk about journaling and how it can help your student learn.  Journaling uses both sides of the brain as students document facts, statistics, and notes from class usually on the right side of the page with the creative assignments/elements that support the facts on the left side of the page. This technique is often referred to as an interactive student notebook, and you can read many helpful articles online about them.
Nature journals are fun for students, and this article from Johns Hopkins University School of Education explains the benefits of nature as well as geography journals.
One interactive journal my daughter kept this year is a literary device journal.  These types of journals can be very practical because students can take them to college and use them as reference books.  For example, when Shelley studied Flannery O'Connor's "Everything That Rises Must Converge," she added a "Situational Irony" page to her journal.  She defined the term and then gave a detailed example from the story. This makes learning relevant, so when she's in college and can't remember what situational irony means, she can look it up in her literary device journal and be reminded of the example from O'Connor's story.  Next year she'll keep a Poetic Device journal when she takes The Language of Poetry as a class.
Taking journaling one step further is blogging.  Students can learn basic coding, writing, editing, photography, photo editing, art, and other skills.  Parents can keep settings private if they prefer so safety shouldn't be much of an issue.  Shelley will write a blog next year because she needs the experience before college.  Most of our older daughter's friends wrote at least one blog for a variety of courses while an undergraduate.  Professors are increasingly including blogs as part of their syllibi, so this is a good skill for students to familiarize themselves with before heading off to college.
What do you think about journaling and blogging for students? Do you think they're legitimate learning exercises or a waste of time?

BTW Did you know I've started a journaling blog?  Click on the link on my sidebar and check it out!
Until next time...
Blessings!
Ricki Jill

7 comments:

  1. A journaling blog too! What fun you busy lady!

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  2. I say, right on target! Even my first grade students kept a journal, making daily entries. At first it might be just a drawing to a prompt or even a simple sentence. As they progressed through the year with their writing skills, I had them keep journals for all the subjects, even math. As you pointed out, it makes learning relevant. Now a first grade student isn't likely to go back and use their journals for reference, but I can see how helpful these your idea of literary journaling will be for college work.
    As for blogging, I didn't realize that it was often a requirement of a college class. I blog for the sheer personal creative outlet it offers me. My husband says it is a way for me to continue in a teacher mode and have an audience. Perhaps, but mostly I just enjoy the creative process.

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  3. Hi, RJ. I hope my daughter gets back to that next year. She did something else this year, and it was not ideal. She has written blogs before, but most of been private. I worry about that, but everyone I ever met through blogging has been lovely. xoox Su

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  4. My standard-level students keep an interactive journal in my classroom (and it never leaves until they move on). We keep EVERYTHING in there! It's expensive (I have to provide them, because they are very poor), but so worth it!

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  5. Hi,
    Yes, I have my boys both journal. I usually ask them a question of the day to ponder and journal about. It has worked out well.
    My boys have a blog, they blog about Legos and the creations they design.
    They have fun with it.
    Carla

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  6. Blogging courses, who knew! I think it is an excellent way to learn skills needed in the work place, linking, coding, and of course writing keeps ones editing skills ongoing. I certainly don't think it is a waste of time...........Journals are a great way to keep notes and is the art keeps it interesting and fun.

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  7. Such a good idea, I have also at times write on livejournal it is were I can say things I don't want my children to know about

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