Strategy 2: Learning Logs

This strategy is similar to the Writing Break, but students control when they write. Using a journal, students write notes or reflections during the lesson or at the end of class. You can use it as a formative assessment at the end of class, asking students to summarize what they have learned (a check for understanding), or as a jumping off point for the next day. They can use their learning log to identify what they already know about a subject (a K-W-L) and as an opportunity to ask questions about the topic and let the teacher know what they do and don’t understand.

Students can also use learning logs to reflect on their learning over time and track their progress. They can keep track of good ideas, strategies, even diagrams and formulas that could be helpful later.

See student examples of learning logs from the User-Friendly Writing-to-Learn Handbook for Science, Michigan Reading Association, p. 7.

Homework: Try the strategy with your students, then write a few short comments in the discussion tab about how it worked and what changes you might suggest, if any.