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Diaries/Journals 
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MES-Member

Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:27 pm
Posts: 8
Post Diaries/Journals
I'd love to hear from teachers who are using diaries or journals with 7-10 year olds. How do you introduce them? How often do the kids write? What are you goals for the journals?


Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:09 pm
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MES-Member

Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:01 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Auch, France
Post Diaries/ Journals
Hi there,

Yes I have recently used a Journal/ Diary for the topic Food, with a number of mixed age classes from age 9-11.

I introduced this at the start of a school term in Week 1 of a 6 week period. I gave them the following sentence structure: ( We have already covered daily routines and so the kids knew the vocab for meals).

On (day) for (meal - breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack) I ate/ drank/ had (some/ a/ an) .............

I asked them to complete this Journal for one or two full days a week which would mean they had to write in effect up to 4 sentences. (8 if they chose to complete two days). it was our first attempt together to talk in the past tense.

I saw the groups once a week for 1 hour and at the start of every class for the first 10 minutes I had 4 students read out a day from their diary. We worked on their sentence formation and article use and we discussed any food item words they had been unable to translate from L1. I wanted to give all the students the chance to read their diary and so had to have 4 reading each week to cover everyone over 6 weeks. (initially I didn't insist they write all food words in English as i for me it was more important to practice the Journal and sentence structure, the food words would increase in time).

With the classes/ students who completed the Journal for every lesson it worked really well they learned lots of food vocab, became proficient with articles and confident in using the sentence with the verbs. With those kids who didnt do the work it was difficult. As always there are some kids who are really into the work and others who are not so. I didnt have a booklet for them to contain all their work they just used loose paper and so it was very easy some weeks for children to have misplaced their paper, forgotten their sheet etc. In hindsight I would give them a small pre-prepared booklet to inspire them. I think this could have made the difference with some of the kids.

Another change I would make for next time would be not to get them to read out their journals 1 by 1 as this sometimes, with slower and unconfident children, took a very long time and sometimes felt like it was all we were doing while other children sat not saying anything for 15/20 mins. I would instead ask them to talk in pairs or small groups to do a mini ask and answer session, (giving them the question structures) while I wander around listening and supporting on errors. Spending maybe 2 mins at the start asking for food words to translate.

Anyhoo, hope this helps. I would do it again but try with the changes noted also i think w i would change it to be something we did t=for the last 10/15 mins rather than at the beginning so there would be no chance it would take over the lesson!!

Good luck :D


Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:07 am
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Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:52 pm
Posts: 33
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This is a link to diaries from my students starting from 6 to about 14 years old.

It has turned out fantastic and I HIGHLY recommend it.

You can find the all Diary Blog here:

http://www.deardiaryjapan.blogspot.com/

***This is strictly H.W. ***

_________________
My Eikaiwa Blog/Diary
http://www.chris-ballard.blogspot.com


Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:39 am
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