How do we keep students engaged while practicing writing skills? Students often want to choose their own topics, but do not grow if every piece is about Mine Craft. If various topics are chosen, they tend to struggle with how to get started. Some students may get started quickly, with a mind full of ideas, but have trouble planning out their thinking before drafting. To best support all these types of writers, graphic organizers like those in this product are incredibly helpful.
The Daily Doodle Writing Journal is an amazing resource. It allows teachers to present different writing topics and styles in a fun and engaging manner. I love this bundle for many reasons.
First, the journal prompts are organized by month and holidays that occur within that month. For example, the October Doodle Journal includes Halloween style journal prompts and graphic organizers. Topics include candy, spiders, pumpkins and costumes.
The second reason this product is valuable is that the daily organizers require students to demonstrate their understanding of various genres. Going along with the October example, there are pages where students are writing their opinions, like which candy is the best. Other pages have them create narratives, like their scariest moment, or informational writing, like how to carve a pumpkin. Each day offers not only experience with the writing process and genres, but it also gives students a chance to have fun while unknowingly strengthening their author skills in multiple ways.
Another trait of the product that makes it worth purchasing is its versatility. When I first previewed the product, I began realizing the many different times of day it could be used, and in what ways.
These creative pages would make great morning work activities. Students would be able to enter the classroom and immediately get to work. Since the structure each day is similar, it allows students get started without teacher instruction.
The pages would also help students warm up their author brains at the beginning of their writing block. It would get their minds engaged in the writing process, allowing teachers to follow with effective writing lessons, received effectively by focused writers! In addition, the pages could be assigned in any order, so teachers could pull pages that match that day’s lesson. For example, if in an opinion writing unit, teachers can assign the “Which Candy is the Best?” prompt, turning student attention to that genre.
In my classroom, we work on a specific writing style in each unit. The focus lessons teach different aspects of that genre, then students try out the focus on their own. When finished with that lesson’s assigned work, they get started on independent free writing, which we call back-up writing. This is a chance for students to choose their own topics and genres and work on writing stamina. Sometimes they have a hard time getting started, so these pages would be effective in directing their practice. Teachers could copy several pages and let students select a page of their choice, one page could be assigned, or teachers could just have copies made and allow students to choose to whether or not to use one during back-up writing time.
I don’t know about you, but one of my least favorite questions from a student is “I’m finished, so what should I do now?” This is usually asked while I am trying to work with an individual student or a small group, and it is quite disruptive to my teaching and student learning. So, this product would be an excellent resource for early finishers. Pages could be copied and placed in an accessible place for those students, or the full monthly packet could be printed, stapled, and kept at desks/tables for seamless transitions between completing assignments and continuing work without teacher interruption.
We have all experienced times when parents ask for extra work for their student to complete at home for practice. This is a frustrating inquiry for me, because it requires searching for pages that are meaningful and fitting for work at home. This takes away from all the other plans and teaching I am doing daily. So, printing and sending this home in a bundle would be a quick and easy way for those parent requests to be granted. The possibilities for this product are vast.
But wait! Here’s the best part! For teachers that are digitally focused or have students that love working on their devices, a digital version of the Daily Doodle Writing Journal is included! The pages are identical to the printable black and white ones in content, but the digital versions are colorful with visually pleasing fonts. Text boxes are pre-created, so students just type their answers in those pre-planned areas. Places for photos or digitally created pictures are prepared as well, for quick copy and pastes. The digital component is perfect for distance learning as well, since students can complete the work on their devices. Directions for how to best use the digital feature are detailed within product pages.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your hands on this product today! Use one or more of the suggestions above or come up with your own. You will be thankful for this purchase, I guarantee it!
Beth Olsen, 3rd Grade Teacher