One of my favorite take-aways from the "DI for the Little Guy" conference with Kim Adsit that I attended in the Spring was the idea of the Monday Morning Journal. This is such a simple idea, but so great.
Each student has a journal (mine are just spiral-bound notebooks), and each Monday morning we'll take time to write in them. One page per week.
I introduced these yesterday with my class. They spread out around the room and then they worked quietly for FIFTEEN MINUTES. On the 5th day of school. I just turned on quiet music, set my most favorite time timer, and away they went. There was very little talking, very few unfocused distractions, and a whole lot of writing.
It's an absolute free-write. Draw or write about any little thing your heart desires! These will be awesome to show parents at parent-teacher conferences, or to document growth (or lack thereof) over time. I used my date stamper to mark them with the date.
In our first Monday Morning Journal entries I saw familiar text, sound spelling, emerging writing...and everything in between!
I just know that this will be an awesome addition to my weekly plan this year. I think it will be a time that my students will love, and it will be a great formative assessment for me. Win-win!
Do you do anything like this with your students?