Inspired by Journaling in the Classroom: An educator shares how she has used journaling prompts from The Me I See, 2E with her students.
Heidi Pauer, a High School Language Arts Teacher from Bow, NH, shared a couple of fun ideas with us. The first was how she has been using The Me I See, 2E in her classroom. The second is a fun and creative way to engage upcoming freshmen. We hope these ideas will inspire you, not only to use them in your own practice but also to share your ideas with us!
I used the prompts as “first 10’s” (First 10 Minutes of Class) in my high school writing classes. For each class, I wrote a prompt on the board. As students came into the classroom, they knew that they were going to write for the first ten minutes to warm up for the class and to help them transition from whatever class they had just left. They had the choice to write about the prompt or anything else, but most of my students chose the prompt because the prompts were so engaging. In the busy life of teenagers, they often don’t have quiet time to think about themselves in a non-threatening way and to process who they are becoming.
When students were done with their 1st 10’s, we often shared what we wrote either by reading all or part of what we wrote (always a personal choice by the students). I wrote with them and shared my thoughts as well. This helped build community and trust in the classroom, which is essential to the success of a writing class or ANY class for that matter. We talked about how, as writers, it would be interesting to see how our answers to the same questions might change throughout our lives.
At the end of the semester, I asked students what they liked best about the writing courses I taught. Most of the students said the “1st 10” writing prompts were their favorite because they couldn’t be wrong, they found them to be a nice transition from “regular” classes, and they had the opportunity for self-reflection as well as learning new things about their classmates. I highly recommend The Me I See book!
On a different note, we ended up doing something new with the upcoming freshmen this year. We set up 4 computer stations that had built in cameras, and supplied a bunch of funky costume pieces like hats, wigs, sunglasses, necklaces, etc. We asked students to create a 10 second or less, impromptu “blurb” about them with or without costume pieces (their activities, interests, favorite color, fears about high school, what they are excited about concerning high school or ANYTHING).
We had a teacher at each station, starting the recording and ending it and encouraging students. We are going to compile all the blurbs and show them at the end of the school year next year, THEN we will save the compiled blurbs to show the whole senior class the week before graduation. Should be pretty funny for them and a nice way to start high school and end high school. 🙂 Of course, each of the freshmen teachers made his/her own blurb to show as an example. Those were VERY funny.
The following are some pages from The Me I See, 2E that we at Wood ‘N’ Barnes recommend for “First 10’s.” From The Me I See, 2 Edition ©2009—an easy-to-use collection of journaling prompts produced by the Wood ‘N’ Barnes Collective.
Click on the page to print.
This lesson is compliments of The Wood ‘N’ Barnes Collective.
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