Learning journals are just great for giving regular recurring feedback and for consolidating and reviewing cumulative knowledge gained throughout an academic year. But did you know that Learning Journals save you many a supervised detention too?
Many schools provide homework timetables for students and teachers to follow. With the very best of intentions, these timetables aim to distribute student and teacher workload evenly and fairly. However, they can prove difficult to follow when units include different intensities of work, and when school events get in the way.
Set Learning Journals as homework each week. The basic idea is that students buy their own notebook and fill it with colourful revision notes on a weekly basis (although they can be done online too: through Google Sites, for example). Perhaps your Year 10 class could hand-in their learning journals in every Wednesday, and collect them from you (with feedback written inside, see the articles cited above) every Friday. By setting up a register of a collection that the student’s sign, you can easily see who hasn’t handed in their journal that week.
Then……follow the guidelines given above for dealing with late or un-submitted homework. You’ll find that after a few weeks of initiating Learning Journals you’ll get a near 100% hand-in rate because the students are really clear about what is expected each week because it is a recurring homework.