Strategy 3: Dialog Journals

Dialog journals can be used for on-going conversations between teacher and student, as well as student to student. (peer-reflection) When used between teacher and student, it is an opportunity for teachers to determine how the students are progressing and a chance for students to let the teacher know where they might be having trouble. Not only does this back and forth communication help with learning, but it helps build relationships.
Benefits of Teacher-Student Dialogue Journals

1. You get to know students.
2. Students get to know you.
3. People who know each other generally like each other.
4. You get a chance to be playful and human, and to be reminded of how funny and delightful young people are.
5. Mutual acquaintance creates investment in the working relationship.
6. You hear from shy kids who never speak up.
7. You get diagnostic feedback about the subject matter: what’s hard, what needs review or re-teaching, what’s easy.
8. You get cues for individualizing instruction.
9. You find out about learning styles and how to reach different ones.
10. You get help matching kids in pairs or forming small groups.
11. You hear kids’ often astute self-assessments.
12. You can factor personal issues into assignments, schedules, grading.
13. You provide kids with models of competent adult writing.
–from Daniels, Zemelman and Steineke, 2007, p. 109

Handouts: Student examples on p. 107.

Homework: Choose one of the students' journal entries in the handout and respond to it (in the discussion tab) as you would if you were that person's teacher.