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I am a first grade teacher who has rediscovered a love for firsties this year. I have taught pre-k, kindergarten, first grade and even second over the past 16 years. I have been married for 17 years to my wonderful husband and have been blessed with 2 very active boys.

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Reflective Journal Writing {and a freebie}

Writing is used through the curriculum on a daily basis.  I have to admit the majority of journal writing has been used during my Daily 5 block.  A mini lesson is done daily and my firsties are able to practice/apply it during their Work on Writing rotation.  Now don't get me wrong, this doesn't always happen!  There is lots of reteaching and conferencing happening too:)

I attended the first part of a Write Track Training today and was asked to think about if we use Metacognitive Journal Writing.  Going back to the meaning of metacognition-the reflection of what we know about a particular topic and delving deeper into what we want to learn, I have to say I don't use it consistently in journal writing or across all content areas.

Simple sentence starters such as I know... and I don't know... can be a powerful tool to assess the student's prior knowledge or even to evaluate the student's understanding of concepts taught.   In my county, we use a "ticket out" for each lesson as a quick assessment for the lesson.  Metacognitive journal entries would be the perfect tie in to writing across the curriculum. 

This lends itself well to science and social studies, but I am thinking about math as well.  I am thinking about students reflecting not only on lessons/concepts taught, but also as a reflection to problems they get wrong on a test.  Imagine how powerful it will be to reteach and have students reflect on what they did incorrectly and what needs to be done next time.  It is much too easy to hand back tests to go home and not reteach the material with misconceptions.  I know personally, I tend to reteach the concepts, but I think miss the importance of the students' taking ownership of their mistakes and then their learning. 

You can check out my recent unit called Reflective Journal Writing Across the Curriculum on Teachers Pay Teachers.  This is a freebie to get you started thinking about written ways for students to reflect and respond.  I would love to hear what you think about this!

I would love to give a shout out to my friend Tamara over at Mrs. Russell's Class as she celebrates on year of blogging fun.  She is having giveaways on her blog and her Facebook page.  My Jellyfish Fun unit is included in her giveaway today so head on over and check it out!

Mrs. Wathen
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