We continue our Reading Journal Workshop. Tuesday I talked about the difference between notetaking and journal entry. The journal entry is to be more like a summary of thoughts or things learnt where notetaking is often incomplete sentences, or copywork, or just one sentence on a topic. We discussed the difference between reading a book ourselves and having a book read aloud to us. When we are listening to a read aloud we are more inclined to take notes and talk about things. What we need to learn though is to take notice of what we are reading and to ask questions even if we are reading a book ourselves. After every reading session we need to write a journal entry – 3-5 sentences on what we have read, thought, questioned or learnt. There is no formula for a Reading Journal so our lessons seem a little disjointed but my hope is that the children are starting to see that they are able to learn as they read, not just enjoy the story.
We didn’t get to the Reading Journals on Wednesday due to the Egyptian Birthday Party but on Thursday we discussed why do we use Reading Journals. The ideas were so that they could learn by themselves. We discussed that they need to be responsible for their own learning and as they learn to slow down, take notice of what they read, ask questions they will be learning themselves. To be able to teach yourself is a skill that they will use for the rest of their life.
By Friday between the two families we had a couple of not so well kids so we decided to call the workshop to an end. We had achieved our objective – to introduce the children to reading journals, to show them that learning can happen from a book that you enjoy if you stop and think about the things you are reading. The goal is for everyone to complete a notebook page on something that they have learnt over the last few weeks and then to use these skills with another book in our own families – either a family read aloud or individual reading. We will get together again in a few weeks as a final wrap up so everyone can show their notebook pages, and discuss what they have all learnt while practicing reading journals.