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Family Message Journals
Old 04-24-2007, 04:07 PM
 
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Do you do family message journals? And if so, what is the impact on student learning?


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Dear Parent,
Old 04-24-2007, 05:03 PM
 
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I do Dear Parent Journals. I do it about every two weeks. The child writes to a parent and they write a letter in return to the child. I use a black/white hardback journal for this. It becomes a sweet memory of first grade.

I guess the educational learning is that the kids learn how to write a letter, practice good sentence structure, etc. The parent can also see the growth over the school year.
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Family Weekend Journals
Old 05-06-2007, 04:51 PM
 
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I began using Family Weekend Journals last year. At the beginning of the year I put together folders for each child using copies of a template I created in Microsoft Word. Here's the process I follow each Friday:
1. The class brainstorms a list of things we learned/acomplished during the week.
2. Students write a letter to a family member using a friendly letter format. They are encouraged to use classroom tools to help with spelling (Word Wall, picture dictionary, etc)
3. Students draw and color an illustration that corresponds with the topic of their letter.
4. Over the weekend, students are supposed to read their letter to a family member and then that family member writes them back.
5. During the next week, several students share their letters/responses with the class during our Morning Meeting. I usually select 4-5 students to share each morning.

I feel that the books provide a strong link between home and school. Students are getting practical writing practice and an opportunity to share their learning with others.


Parent's love the folders and tell me what a wonderful memory book their children are creating. If I remember correctly, the Responsive Classroom series discusses Family Weekend Journals. (I don't have my books at home to check.) Try www.responsiveclassroom.org
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