Friday, August 22, 2014

Gospel for the Mass: 9/28/14- Matthew 21:28-32








*Be sure to check out Gospel for the Mass Year A page right below the header for other days that you need Gospel for the Mass activities.


Disclaimer: The posts below contain links to other websites and the content of these sites are evaluated before they are included. These websites can change without warning making links inactive and/or the content altered. We have no control over other websites and we are not responsible for the content that they post.




Matthew 21:28-32



Activities

catholicmom.com- Click on the month. Scroll down to the date for Coloring Page, Mass Worksheet, Crossword Puzzle, Word Search, etc.

catholickidsbulletin.blogspot.com- Download a FREE bulletin to help your kids learn more about our Catholic Mass. Each week's bulletin contains coloring pages for a saint and activities based on the Gospel. The coloring pages may also include a maze, dot-to-dot, find the picture, and many other activities.

sadlierreligion.com- Scroll down to Gospel Reflection, Discussion Questions for the Gospel, and Proclaiming Faith Activities

loyolapress.com- Background on the Gospel and activities for groups and families

4catholiceducatiors.com- Resources on the Sunday Readings

sermons4kids.com- Yes or No? Parable of Two Sons object lesson with group activities, coloring pages, puzzles, quizzes, and puzzles

sermons4kids.com- Working For A Reward object lesson

calvarycurriculum.com- The Parable of the Two Sons lesson #222 with memory verses, circle the correct words, true or false, fill in the blanks, puzzles, and color sheets.

word-sunday.com- True Change lesson

textweek.com- Lectionary, Scripture Study and Worship Links and Resources



Coloring

sermons4kids.com- The Parable of the Two Sons

higherpraise.com- The Parable of the Two Sons



Crafts

sermons4kids.com- Yes or No? Parable of Two Sons (group activities) crafts

sundayschoolsources.com- Scroll down to craft



Games

sermons4kids.com- Yes or No? Parable of Two Sons (group activities) games

kidssundayschool.com- An activity to compare how easily children believe in things they cannot see to show how they can believe in an unseen God.

youthpastor.com- Faith game



Puzzles

A Story About Two Sons- The two sons in the story acted very differently from one another. Look at each row of pictures. Which object is different from the others? (Big Puzzles for Little Hands: Jesus’ Life and Lessons by Carla Williams, page 63).

maxipraise.com- The Two Sons beginners maze

maxipraise.com- The Two Sons advance maze

maxipraise.com- The Two Sons word search

sermons4kids.com- Word Search

joanyedwards.com- Word Search

biblewise.com- Dial a Message

sermons4kids.com- Spiral Puzzle

4catholiceducators.com- The Two Sons crossword

joanyedwards.com- Crossword



Quizzes

sermons4kids.com- Multiple Choice

sermons4kids.com- Fill in the Blanks





Thursday, August 21, 2014

Assignment Sheets and Grade Sheets



Keeping accurate records of student assignments is necessary for good parent/teacher communication. It also helps students be more organized and be able to turn assignments on time. Here are a few free assignment/grade sheets that might come in handy.


office.microsoft.com- Assignment Sheet and Grade Sheets for all ages

office.microsoft.com- Use this education grade spreadsheet to keep track of homework, midterms, finals and project grades for twenty-five students or more simultaneously.

office.microsoft.com- Gradebook with printable student progress report

office.microsoft.com- Teacher’s Grade Book
This template computes student grade point averages and more. It computes a measure of consistency of student performance, measures of the characteristics of each class section and the student body, and measures of the suitability of the assignments given to the students.

superteacherworksheets.com- Here's a terrific gradebook template designed specially for elementary classroom teachers. Download the gradebook and open it up on Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice Calc. Enter your student names and grades. The spreadsheet will calculate student averages for each subject. It's completely free from Super Teacher Worksheets!

vertex42.com- This free Gradebook Template for Excel started out as a very basic grade book spreadsheet, but it has evolved into something that is very useful, flexible, and powerful (and still free). The gradebook download includes 3 different types of grade books that can handle most of the major grading systems used in high school and colleges.

teachnology.com- This tool allows you to quickly create printable weekly assignments for your students.

teachnology.com- Enter the name of the subject that homework will be due for.

catechistsjourney.loyolapress.com- Homework Notification Sheets



teachervision.fen.com

Homework Collection Sheet with Homework Pass- Print a worksheet that includes a sheet to monitor homework collection and a pass for a free homework assignment. This printable is customizable. Tailor the PDF to your teaching needs by typing in the highlighted fields before printing. (Grade K – 5)

Homework Sheet- Do you have a student who frequently forgets homework assignments? This printable homework sheet will help students organize their assignments and will remind them of due dates. (Grade 4 – 9)

Homework Collection Record & Student Restitution Sheet- Document disciplinary needs and actions in your classroom with time-saving, printable forms. A homework collection record will help you keep track of students who are missing their assignments, while a student restitution sheet should be filled out when students are caught cheating.



teachertools.org- 2 Assignment Sheets to download. Click on Forms and Letters. Look under Academic.

friendsofpr.com- Assignment Sheet

Assignment Sheet for Individual Student- Student Name, Date, Assignment, Turned In (2 pages) Editable

Assignment Sheet for Individual Student- Student Name, Date, Assignment, Turned In, Grade (2 pages) Editable





Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lesson Plan Templates





Lesson Plans come in all shapes and forms. What you should use depends upon your principal, DRE, etc. and what you need as a teacher. Teachers must also take into account inclusion of special needs students into their classroom. Keeping all the needs of everyone in mind while doing a lesson plan can sometimes be overwhelming.


Here is the lesson plan template I use and it is editable. (I got this from a class I took years ago at Johns Hopkins or Notre Dame.)


And here is an example of what it looks like all filled out.




Below are some lesson plan templates that I found online that might be helpful:

thereligionteacher.com- Click on the links below to download your free copies of the lessons planning templates from The Religion Teacher’s Guide to Lesson Planning.

lessonplanspage.com- This lesson plan template was designed to make lesson plan writing easier to do while ensuring that all lesson plan components are met. Copy and paste below into your authoring program.

lessonplans4teachers.com- Every teacher has a unique way of completing lesson plans. Some are based on strict district guidelines, while others come out of years of experience and successful practices. The following is a list of generally accepted lesson planning templates. These are all Free Lesson Plan templates.

nwlink.com- Lesson Plan Template (rtf)
This template is intended to be the ultimate lesson plan. If you only use a quarter of the learning techniques within the template, you will still have a great lesson plan. This template uses Outlining to keep the numbers correctly sequenced. By pressing the [Enter] key within the outline or deleting an outline number, the numbers will automatically resequence themselves.

k6educators.about.com- Blank 8-Step Lesson Plan Template

personal.psu.edu- Lesson Plan Template



What kind of lesson plan do you use? Please comment so I can add the link to your blog to this post. We would love to see what you use!





Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What do students like to do in CCD?





What to do with the students in your CCD classroom depends upon their age. Coming up with activities that excite your students and invites them to learn about our faith can sometimes be overwhelming. Keeping students involved and engaged in activities that have them moving, working in groups, and discovering information for themselves allows students to become excited about their learning and they are motivated to come to class. Having engaging and fun activities for your students to do each week can also keep absenteeism down to a minimum. The students will know they will do something fun in the class and want to be there.

The key to being a good catechist is to have your students anticipate activities that are fun and challenging so they will want to come to CCD each and every week. A good way to accomplish this is before you dismiss your students give them a little teaser of what they will do in class next week. Make it sound fun and exciting.

Example: “Why do problems come into our lives? People face problems each and every day. Some are harder than others. There are many choices that the person can have to solve his/her problem, but which one is the best? Next week we will play a game to see if you can choose the right thing to do.”



So what do students like to do in CCD?


All Students
How To Review Material- You just completed a chapter with your class and you need to review it to make sure your students understand it and/or get them ready for a test. What should you do? How can you make it interesting and fun and the students will learn? Try to incorporate a game to review the material in your classroom.


Pre K – K students like singing and doing finger plays, coloring, making simple crafts, and playing games. The more movement the better so that the catechist can burn up some of their never ending pent up energy. Changing activities about every 15 minutes is also a good idea since their attention spans are extremely short. Interest Centers are important for any Preschool or Kindergarten classroom. These center activities: Art, Block, Book, Creation, Home Living, Manipulative, etc. gives the students a chance to “Learn by Doing”.

Having a God’s Helping Hands Chart encourages teamwork and self-esteem as students take responsibility for their classroom. This also builds community and dependability and it could also get the children to help more around the house as well. By assigning students various tasks to do will keep them busy and they will not get bored. It will also cut down on behavior problems because they will be moving and not sitting so much.


Pre K – K lesson plans- with: Objectives, Word Wall, Bible Story with questions, Songs and/or Finger Plays, Activities, Crafts, Games, Snacks, Coloring/Puzzles

hubbardscupboard.org- lessons for ages 2 - 6

dltk-bible.com- Old and New Testament lesson for preschool posted. Lessons include memory verse, teacher's guide, puzzles, take home sheet, coloring pages, crafts and activities, etc.

clclutheran.org- lessons for preschool (click on Lessons on the left side and then click on Old or New Testament Lessons)

missionarlington.org- Click on a lesson and scroll down to Preschool Lessons

sermons4kids.com- Index of Coloring Pages

tiredtwang.blogspot.com- saint coloring sheets. You can find all of her coloring pages listed up at the top of her blog by clicking on the tab called Catholic Coloring Pages.

paperdali.blogspot.com- Saint paper dolls that you can download for free. Scroll down the right sidebar and click on the saint you want. The link will take you directly where you can download a black and white PDF file of the saint.

Bible Story Mini Books- Bible Story Mini Books are a great way to review a Bible story or concept with young students. Here are some online for free to print out for the students to take home. Students can read these to their parents or the parents can read them to their child.

FREE One Page Printable Bible Stories- Short on paper and need some printable Bible stories? You can print these out in color or black and white, whichever you prefer. Great for review and for your children to read.

Interactive Crafts for Bible Stories- Children love to make interactive crafts for Bible stories. It makes the Bible story come alive and they can reenact the story over and over again.



Bible Wheels To Make and Enjoy by Carmen Sorvillo- Bible Wheels are Bible stories on wheels that help reinforce Bible stories. Children ages 4 to 7 can make the Bible Wheels easily by cutting them out, coloring, and assembling. Each wheel is made from two reproducible patterns that you can print out on cardstock and are secured with a brass fastener. A window in the wheel reveals what happens in the Bible story and the children can turn the wheel dial to retell the Bible story they just learned over and over again. Bible Wheels are a great way to supplement your Bible stories and help your students to remember the lesson. Children are fascinated by how they work and the Bible Wheels in this book will surely keep the children’s attention and spark their imagination. The book contains 30 (14 Old and 16 New Testament) Bible Wheels that have limited text with the title of the story, the Bible reference and pictures telling the Bible story on each one. Cutting is simple but for younger students you might want to cut out all or some of the craft prior to class. Bible Wheels are a great take home activity for children to do with their parents and they are an excellent way to help the children remember the Bible story.

Click here to see some of the book then click on Excerpt.






Elementary age students enjoy crafts, games, and creative puzzles such as hidden pictures, word shape, word jumble decoder, spiral, etc. Usually boys at this age absolutely despise coloring and as soon as you whip out a coloring sheet for them to do, discipline problems immediately erupt. Students at this age like object lessons and activities that involve movement and learning. Nothing is more fun than doing activities that use all the students’ senses and challenges them.

Play a game that reviews previously learned material. These activities make the Bible stories and aspects of the Catholic Church more concrete and easier for the students to understand and also a lot of fun.

Lesson Plans for 1st Grade On Up- with: Objectives, Review, Vocabulary Words, Bible Story with questions, Activities, Crafts, Games, Snacks, Puzzles/Mazes/Worksheets

dltk-bible.com- Old and New Testament lesson for preschool through 3rd grade. Lessons include memory verse, teacher's guide, puzzles, take home sheet, coloring pages, crafts and activities, etc.

clclutheran.org- lessons for 1st through 8th grade (click on Lessons on the left side and then click on Old or New Testament Lessons)

missionarlilngton.org- Lessons consist of: Scripture Memory Verse, Lesson Goals, Welcome Time, Bible Story, Review Questions, Prayer Time, Life Application

sermons4kids.com- find various kinds of puzzles for your students to do that are posted in alphabetical order

sermons4kids.com- Click on Sermon Index to find the subject or sermon you want. Tons of object lessons for you to choose from.

Bible Story Mini Books- Bible Story Mini Books are a great way to review a Bible story or concept with young students. Here are some online for free to print out for the students to take home. Give these to your students every week so they can read these to their parents.

FREE One Page Printable Bible Stories- Short on paper and need some printable Bible stories? You can print these out in color or black and white, whichever you prefer. Great for review and for your children to read.

catholicicing.com- Embrace your amazing Catholic Culture by "icing" your Catholic Cake with all of these yummy "extras"! This is a place to find Catholic Arts and Crafts, Fun Food, Feast Day Celebration ideas, and much, much more!

thereligionteacher.com- Scroll down for: Feast of the Epiphany in the Modern Day- Lesson Plan Activities, Catholic Thanksgiving Day Lesson Plans on the Eucharist as “Thanksgiving”, Teaching the Mysteries of the Rosary to Elementary Students, etc.



Hidden Pictures Explore Hidden Treasures in God’s Word: Grade 1 - 3 (Fun Faith-Builders) by Linda Standke- Children will absolutely love the fun and creative Bible story based hidden picture puzzles in this book! My students are just wild about hidden picture puzzles and ask for them every week at CCD. The students start these puzzles by looking up the scripture reference to answer the question about each story. Then they find and circle the story related items hidden in the picture. Each puzzle has a list of 8 items to find. To make it easier for the students, drawings of the 8 items are next to each word and these look exactly like the ones in the puzzle. The book has 27 (13 Old and 14 New Testament) hidden picture puzzles and also an answer key for each. These hidden puzzles are a fantastic fill in activity for CCD or great to do just before the parents come to pick up their children.

Click here to see some of the book then click on Sample.





The Encyclopedia Of Bible Games For Children's Ministry by Group Publishing- This book is a collection of 175 creative and entertaining games that will add fun and enhance your lessons for your class, vacation Bible school, retreats, etc. The games get students involved and allows them to learn through activities that will help reinforce Bible stories or various Bible subjects. The activities are broken down into 9 categories: Bible Story Games (75), Jesus Is… Games (10) that connect your students to Christ, The Bible Is… Games (10) to teach the truths, Holiday Games (10), Wild ‘n’ Wacky Games (10) to get your students up and moving, Total Silence Games (10), Travel Games (10) to try when you are going from here to there, Icebreaker Games (20), and Group Builder Games (20). Each game specifies the scripture, the Bible theme, energy level with complete directions, supply list, what to say, and post game discussions. All supplies that are needed for each game are found easily around the home or church. You can also search the indexes by type of game, Bible point or passage, and energy level. The games can be easily adapted for all ages, class size, indoor or outdoor, etc. and a suggestion page is in the book to help you with any situation so all children can enjoy playing the games. This is must have in any youth ministry!

Limited preview- To see some of the book.






Older students enjoy discussions and a variety of activities that lets them manipulate the information physically and mentally. They like breaking off into small groups to work together for a common goal and present it later to the class. Group projects are a hit as well as field trips to places they have previously studied about. They also like playing games that involves the whole class reviewing previously learned material that is fun and educational too.

thereligionteacher.com- How To Get Students To Participate In Class Discussions

Catholic Lesson Plans For Teens- FREE Catholic lesson plans for small group study or classroom covering a variety of issues for today's teens.

Play a game show that quizzes your students about the subject. Make it fun and exciting by using a game that is created on PowerPoint. Download the template and modify the game to fit your curriculum needs.

Play a game that reviews previously learned material. These activities make the Bible stories and aspects of the Catholic Church more concrete and easier for the students to understand and also a lot of fun. (There are several games posted here that can be used for older students.)



Faith Facts for Young Catholics: Drills, Games and Activities for Middle School Students by Kieran Sawyer- This is an incredible activity book of drills, games and activities for middle school students that all will enjoy. The 25 activities include: Sacraments, Ten Commandments, Parts of the Mass, Review Games, Seven Gifts, Scriptures, Gospel Trivia, etc. There are pages and pages of review cards, key word cards, flash cards, Gospel trivia cards, Scripture passage cards, etc. to go with all the activities in the book with answers included. Teachers need to from time to time supplement their curriculum with activities to help teach their students and review material and by using the creative activities in this book it will help enhance the lessons and allow the students to understand more and have a lot of fun in the process. The games will also be great in a variety of religious education settings such as religion class in school, CCD, youth group meetings and youth retreats. (*This book is spiral bound to make copying easier.)



What do your students like to do in CCD class?





Monday, August 18, 2014

FREE One Page Printable Bible Stories



Short on paper and need some printable Bible stories? Well, lambsongs.co.nz has them for FREE. You can print them out in color or black and white, whichever you prefer. Great for review and for your children to read.



Old Testament

New Testament

Christmas

Easter

Value Series





Friday, August 15, 2014

Bible Story Mini Books





Bible Story Mini Books are a great way to review a Bible story or concept with young students. There are even some online for free to print out for the students to take home. I give one to each of my first grade students every week so they can read them to their parents for homework.



lambsongs.co.nz- are by far the best mini books online for free. They have color or black and white (students can color these) versions of several types of mini books in Word or Publisher format. Check this site often because they add new mini books all the time.


Old Testament


New Testament


Christmas


Easter





dltk-bible.com- Bible Mini Books (6 posted that are color or black & white)

• Adam & Eve (2 versions)
• Creation
• Life of Jesus
• Lord’s Prayer (Catholic version posted)
• Men of the Bible
• Noah and His Ark



chrisitanpreschoolprintables.com- Bible Story Mini Books (5 pages of mini books that are color or black & white)

• Old Testament
• New Testament
• Creation
• Adam & Eve (short A phonics book)
• God Made Me
• Adam & Eve
• Tower of Babel
• Noah’s Ark
• Psalms 23
• David & Goliath
• Jesus Feeds 5,000
• Salvation Colors
• Mother’s Day
• Father’s Day
• Thanksgiving Day
• Pumpkin Prayer
• Happy Birthday Jesus
• Symbols of Christmas
• Candy Cane
• Fruit of the Spirit (Protestant version)
• Jesus Loves Me



biblestoryprintables- (sister group of christianpreschoolprintables.com) 4 Bible Story Mini Books that are in color or black & white

• Creation
• The Resurrection (The Story of Easter)
• Adam & Eve
• The Parable of the Sower



psscentral.com- Bible Story Mini Books (20 posted that are black & white)

• 10 Commandments (Protestant version)
• Abraham
• Armor of God
• Baby in a Manger
• Creation
• David & Goliath
• Elijah Prays for Rain
• Good Samaritan
• Jesus Feeds the Multitude
• Jesus Heals
• Jesus is Baptized
• Jesus is Risen
• Jonah and the Whale
• Joseph Gets a Coat
• Daniel in the Lion’s Den
• Lord is My Shepherd
• Moses in a Basket
• Moses Parts the Red Sea
• Noah’s Ark
• Prodigal Son





Gospel for the Mass: 9/21/14- Matthew 20:1-16a








*Be sure to check out Gospel for the Mass Year A page right below the header for other days that you need Gospel for the Mass activities.


Disclaimer: The posts below contain links to other websites and the content of these sites are evaluated before they are included. These websites can change without warning making links inactive and/or the content altered. We have no control over other websites and we are not responsible for the content that they post.




Matthew 20:1-16a



Activities

catholicmom.com- Click on the month. Scroll down to the date for Coloring Page, Mass Worksheet, Crossword Puzzle, Word Search, etc.

catholickidsbulletin.blogspot.com- Download a FREE bulletin to help your kids learn more about our Catholic Mass. Each week's bulletin contains coloring pages for a saint and activities based on the Gospel. The coloring pages may also include a maze, dot-to-dot, find the picture, and many other activities.

sadlierreligion.com- Scroll down to Gospel Reflection, Discussion Questions for the Gospel, and Proclaiming Faith Activities

loyolapress.com- Background on the Gospel and activities for groups and families

4catholiceducatiors.com- Resources on the Sunday Readings

sermons4kids.com- That’s Not Fair! object lesson with group activities, coloring page, puzzles, worship bulletin

calvarycurriculum.com- Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard lesson #215 with memory verses, circle the correct words, true or false, fill in the blanks, puzzles, and color sheets.

missionarlington.org- The Vineyard Workers lesson with activities

sundayschoollessons.com- The Kingdom of Heaven is Like A Vineyard lesson

textweek.com- Lectionary, Scripture Study and Worship Links and Resources



Coloring

sermons4kids.com- Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:13-14a)

theclipartwizard.com- Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard coloring pages

4catholiceducators.com- Working One Hour clip art



Crafts

Plant some plants in plastic cups or pots to take home. Plant some plants around the church.

sermons4kids.com- That’s Not Fair! group activities (crafts)



Games

sermons4kids.com- That’s Not Fair! group activities (games)

christiancrafters.com- Vineyard Workers Game

books.google.com- Junior High Ministry: A Guide to Early Adolescence for Youth Workers by Wayne Rice
Graceland (page 109 & 110)


Puzzles

sermons4kids.com- Maze

sermons4kids.com- Word Search

joanyedwards.com- Word Search

sermons4kids.com Decoder

sermons4kids.com- Crossword

4catholiceducators.com- The Last Shall Be First (crossword)

joanyedwards.com- Crossword





Thursday, August 14, 2014

FREE Printable Mass Notes For Children



It’s no secret that kids often struggle to pay attention during Mass. Sometimes the problem is comprehension, other times it’s just listening skills. This post features downloadable resources to help the children in your church remember what was said during Mass.

upsidedownhomeschooling.com- FREE My Mass Notes Printable {for Kids}



FREE Printable Worship Notes For Children
(Use these for ideas to make your own.)




mmmcrafts.blogspot.com- It's a Christian worship activity page for your school-age kiddos that will keep them quietly occupied during worship while at the same time helping them to focus on what is going on.

childrenareablessing.org- Worship Notes for Kids

forestbaptistchurch.org- Sermon Note Worksheet for Kids

ministry-to-children.com- Printable Sermon Note Taking Sheet for Kids

raisingarrows.net- The worksheets contained a list of hand-written “church” words and the children were putting tally marks next to each of the words as they heard them in the service.

clarchatter.blogspot.com- In order to keep Christ the focus, we have tried out many ways to help our children attend and commit to memory what they learn on Sunday. I created this sheet for that purpose.

teacherspayteachers.com- This 5 page packet contains a study note outline for: PK-K, 1st-2nd Graders, 3rd-5th Graders, 6th-8th Graders. It aids children in focusing on what is happening during worship services, instead of focusing on coloring books or texting or the people around them or notes or daydreaming. I am making it free because I think it is an awesome resource that every church should incorporate.





Wednesday, August 13, 2014

FREE Children’s Worship Bulletins and/or Mass Worksheets







*If you know of any more FREE Children’s Worship Bulletins and/or Mass Worksheets, please comment so I can add them to the list.


catholicmom.com- Click on the month. Scroll down to the date for Coloring Page, Mass Worksheet, Crossword Puzzle, Word Search, etc.

sermons4kids.com- Click on Sermons Index and scroll down for the sermon (object lesson) that you want. Also click on Coloring Pages for English and Spanish coloring pages. Scroll down under lesson for Group Activities, Coloring Pages, Puzzles, Quizzes, and Worship Bulletins.

calvarycurriculum.com- lessons with memory verses, circle the correct words, true or false, fill in the blanks, puzzles, and color sheets. Great to use for activities about certain Bible stories. Ages 3 – 6th Grade.

catholickidsbulletin.blogspot.com Download a FREE bulletin to help your kids learn more about our Catholic Mass. Each week's bulletin contains coloring pages for a saint and activities based on the Gospel. The coloring pages may also include a maze, dot-to-dot, find the picture, and many other activities.

saintedwardparish.org- Children’s Worship Bulletins posted for ages 3 – 12.

thekidsbulletin.wordpress.com- A fun way for Catholic kids to learn about the Faith every week.

holyheroes.com- Has a weekly quiz and coloring page on each week's readings.

trchurchofchrist.com- Children's Bulletin "Growing With Jesus"

joanyedwards.com- Devotionals, skits, word searches, crosswords, recourses for Cycle A, B, or C Gospel for the Mass.



Want to make your own Worship Bulletins for your children or students? Here are a few templates that might come in handy:

concordiasupply.com- Several templates to choose from





Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How To Grade Journal Writing




Before assigning any kind of journal writing the teacher must explain to the students all the expectations that are required to completing and grading the journal. By identifying all the expectations before writing the journals this will prevent some confusion for the students and it will also facilitate good teacher and student communication.


What the Teacher Needs to Explain Fully to the Students:

What is the purpose of the journal?

What format is to be used for the journal?

What will the students write about?

How much writing is required?

When will the journals be due? Where do the students turn them in?

How will the students be given feedback?

When and where will the students pick up their journals?

How will the students be graded?

Who will read the journals?



Journal Grading:

The teacher needs to state what percentage of the student’s grade will be affected by their journal writing and how they will be graded. A syllabus or an introduction letter about the class is a good way to notify the students and parents what is expected. Teachers must also go over the syllabus/introduction letter thoroughly with the class to avoid any confusion and allow students to ask questions. Studies show if the instructor chooses to incorporate journal writing into their class, unless the journals have an effect on the grades, students will put very little effort into their writing (Hahnemann, 1986). Grading journals therefore gives them value and shows their importance. How much the journal writing should count as part of the student’s grade is up to the teacher. Usually it is 10% (Hahnemann, 1986) to 20% (Tryssenaar, 1995) to make sure that the students feel the journal writing assignments matter and are important. When completing some journal assignments it is imperative to remember that if the focus is on the thought process, then grammar and punctuation should not be a part of the evaluation of the journal. If the focus of the journal is to reflect, then the journal should be an environment where students can write and not worry about punctuation, grammar, and spelling (Walker, 2006). Teachers need to convey that content is more important than word count and sincere reflection on the topic is key.


*You can also use these rubrics below to assess students' abilities to complete the journal activities assigned. Share the assessment with students prior to completing the journal writing lesson so they will understand how they will be assessed. You can also use the rubric as a basis for discussion and feedback with each student.

sites4teachers.com- Journal Response and Comprehension Rubric

gsu.edu- Several rubrics posted to use.



Journal Feedback:

Teachers must give feedback to the students about their journal writing before the second writing assignment is given. Judgment and criticism should not be noted on the journal writing. Instead, the attempt to write on the student's part is more important than the success of the attempt (Hahnemann, 1986). One to two comments about the entry is more than enough (Brown & Sorrell, 1993). If more comments are stated by the teacher the students usually lose their sense of purpose and meaning of the writing. The students will worry about grammar and sentence structure instead of what they are trying to say (Holmes, 1997).