Friday, January 3, 2014

January Journal Prompts and More

Recently, I asked followers on my Facebook page what they thought of kids having to complete school work during extended vacations such as Christmas/winter break.  The responses were varied, although the majority thought that their own children or students should be completing daily readingSome commented that they preferred learning that occurs naturally such as from just plain old curiosity, field trips, playing a new game, or exploring outside.

With my own two young sons, ages 7 and 8, I have a sneaky plan of attack.  You see, whenever I create a new product, they are my field testers and guinea pigs; they try out the product which gives me a good idea of whether my target age and ability level were accurate, they let me know their opinions (brutally honest, I may add!), and even give me suggestions for changing the wording or clip art.  I always approach them with a "can you please do me a favor and try this to see if other kids would like it" attitude.  I never force them to do an activity because they are usually eager to give me their "expert" feedback.  In turn, they are practicing their literacy skills without even knowing it!

My January Journal Prompts have just been listed in my store, and my boys had plenty of time to  check them out during their two week vacation!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Writing-Prompts-for-January-For-journals-and-writing-centers-1036007
Use for grades 1-3

My soon-to-be seven year old first grader decided to use one of the New Year's prompts.  He made a list of the fun and new things he had done in 2013, thought about his favorite (actually he had two) and wanted to add some color to make it his own (this kids loves to color and do anything artsy!).  Although I designed these prompts to be used for journals, in a writing center, or small group, they make a great bulletin board or hallway display!  All the prompt pages are done in black and white which saves you ink and allows your little writers to add their creative flair to their writing and thinking.





I took the cover page (shown below) and glued it to the front of a pocket folder.  There are two versions~ black and white or color.







You can place all of the prompts inside the folder or have students place in folder as they are completed.  Some teachers use the prompts as daily journal writing, as morning work, or in a writing center.  If you place the completed writings in the folder, students will have a keepsake portfolio for the month that I'm sure their parents will enjoy!




Speaking of the prompts, with each of my monthly journal prompts, I include a variety of topics and writing forms/formats.  I include several of the fun and unique special days for the month.  For January, that includes National Chocolate Cake Day, Popcorn Day, Martin Luther King Day, Spaghetti Day (which is tomorrow, 1/4/14), and more!

If you want to use the prompts for a more formal and structured writing piece such as in a Writer's Workshop, you can do that too!  For example, you can take this prompt from the packet~






Students are to write a story using the pictures as the prompt.  I include space for them to brainstorm their ideas and a writing page.

However, if you want to lead students through the entire writing process, use the above lined paper for drafting.  After revising and editing, have students write their final copy on one of the stationery pages that are done in color such as this one~





The beauty of this packet is that it is so versatile and flexible.  As a literacy interventionist, I can use it with individuals and small groups, and the classroom teacher can use it with an entire class!  Click here if you want to check out the listing.


I have one more January related creation to share with you.  At my house, we have a Bible verse of the month that we learn, discuss how to apply to our lives, and focus and meditate on throughout the month.  Since my youngest two are only fourteen months apart, they are often in competition with one another and, well, we need to focus on accepting and embracing God's peace and showing that to one another.  I chose a verse from Philippians for January.  I print it on card stock, trim around the edges, and place in an 8x10 picture frame that sits on the buffet in the dining room.  Here's a picture of what I'm talking about:






Click here to download a copy of the Bible verse from Drop Box.
       {Thank you to Ashley Hughes and Whimsy Workshop Teaching for the adorable clip art and to KG Fonts.}


I wish you a restful weekend!
Enjoy!

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