Thursday, August 7, 2014

Shared Journals for Work on Writing

"How do you structure your Work on Writing area?" I feel like that's a question I ask every teacher! I love to give my students choices of what they are allowed to write. I feel it's so important and helps them love writing! 
 I ADORE the Cupcake for the Teacher's Writing Center - It's kid friendly and SUPER adorable. When it's time for Daily 5, the students who choose Work on Writing grab this board and set it up in the writing center. Love it. 

Throughout the school year, I was noticing the novelty of Work on Writing was wearing off. A friend of mine asked if I had tried Shared Journals. My first thought was, 
"Ummm, I do not need to add any more journals to the disasters they call their desks." 
The LAST thing I wanted was ANOTHER journal that my students had to keep up with. 
And then, she showed me the magic of her Shared Journals. I LOVED this idea! 

Here's what you need:
-6 Journals/Composition Books (you could always do more)
-Cute (and free) journal labels like THESE !! 

Here's how they work: 
These journals STAY in the writing center. When students choose Work on Writing, these 6 journals are another choice for them! The journals are SHARED with the entire class (hence the name: SHARED journals). When a student chooses to write in one, they flip to the next empty page. They need to write their name and date at the top (and I also ask them to title their work). Then they are able to write their story. If another student wants to use that journal later in the day, they would simply turn to the next empty page and write their own journal entry. I usually have to model this more than once, but they really do get the hang of it! 
The students LOVE these journals and I love to catch them reading their friend's entries. At the end of the year, you will have 6 journals that your whole class has written in! It also makes for a fun addition to Open House. 

I used these journals in Kindergarten and First Grade. Here are some examples:

I went to "Amuriloe"... Amarillo :)
Chicago is a very big place!

"The Little Gecow"... (gecko!! :) ) 



Now, what does a student do when they REALLY REALLY have a story to tell but another kid already has the Movie journal? I have them write their story on a piece of paper- and we will fold and glue it in the class journal!
Who doesn't remember Olaf singing his heart out in Frozen?? Too cute!

The kids LOVE these journals, and I think they are so fun to go back and read. 
Grab your own Shared Journal labels HERE !! 

Any other "must haves" I need to put in my writing center!? 


  1. I love these journals!! Adorable pieces of writing! I am going to be posting some adorable pieces of writing soon that my kiddos wrote during Writing Camp the past two weeks! :)
    Do you use "Bright Ideas" Sheets that kids can have in their Writing Workshop Folders that they can refer to when they need a spark to write about? I have, and they work like a charm!! I am going to be posting mine soon in TpT as a freebie!
    Teaching with Smiles

    1. Love that idea!! I used Cara Carroll's idea last year and had an anchor chart in the Writing Center with "Write from the Heart" and it had of ideas inside a giant heart. I can't wait to check out your freebie!! :)

  2. I am your newest follower! I am moving from k to 1st due to enrollment decline so you may be able to help me with the transition!!!


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