Friday, August 30, 2013

Family Response Journals with a FREEBIE

I am so happy to have finished making my Family Response Journals!  We use these every week.  The kids and parents just love them!  These journals are for parents and kids to write letters back and forth.  In the beginning of the year, we brainstorm a letter that we can all write about - "Dear Mom,  We are learning about bugs.  My favorite bug is a _______________.  What is your favorite bug?  Love, ________."  If kids can or want to write independently, they are encouraged to do so.  I write the "generic" letter on the board for beginning readers to copy.  We write in our journals on Monday and then they go home in our homework pouches.  Parents have all week to write back before sending them back in the pouches on Friday. 

Kids LOVE to get letters back from their parents!  Here are some tips I always share with my parents:
  • If you don't send the journals, they can't do it!  This is a really fun way to encourage reading and writing.  PLEASE write back to your child and send journals back to school! 
  • Remember that this is being read by a beginning reader!  Use your NICEST printing.  The kids gain reading practice with this activity.  Cursive makes this impossible with little guys.
  • Kids should write to someone in their house, so they can write back.  Sometimes my journals are missing for weeks because a student decided to write to his grandma and left the journal at her house. 

 To make the journals, I print covers on colored paper and laminate.  The back cover has a word bank with words kids commonly use in their journals.  I have two types of pages for the inside - primary lined for the kids to use and regular lines for parents.  I print kids on the front and parents on the back.  My journals have 34 pages in them.  We are usually done with them a couple weeks before school gets out.  I find this nice because the end of the year can be hectic and it is nice to have something DONE.  I use a binding machine to bind the book and E6000 to glue the binding comb shut. 

These make sweet keepsakes to send home at the end of the year.  They take about 20-30 minutes a week, but are great reading and writing practice. 

Click here to download these pages for FREE!

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about Family Response Journals.  Have a great week, friends!


https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BzLNL1x_YFzBbmdqTjhxUUJSZ1U/edit?usp=sharing

10 comments:

Teaching With Style and Grace said...

Love this idea! I'm looking forward to starting this with my class. Thanks for the freebie!

Amber said...

Hi there, I attempted to download to my computer. It comes up in google docs as a document, but nothing is there?? Would you email it to my school account?

a.marsh@biglake.k12.mn.us

Thank you so much! I was so excited to see this and get it started for my class.

Autumn Morrison said...

I just emailed you the link. Please let me know if you still have trouble. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

hi there,
Thank you for creating this awesome activity for a child and a parent can do and share together. I was wondering if you wrote an introduction at the beginning of the book to the parents on how the journal works and the purpose. If so could you send it to me. Also, who starts the journal, the student or parent?

Thank you again! Cant wait for my students to starts it!

lawrencecabading@gmail.com

Autumn Morrison said...

Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I go over the family response journal at my parent meeting the first week of school. The kids write first. In my first grade class, we write a letter as a class. My kids do not have to write this. If they are independent writers, I encourage them to write their own letters. After Christmas, I no longer write the letter on the board for them to copy. We might brainstorm a few topics to write about, then they all write independently. Please let me know if you have any other questions or suggestions. :) Autumn

Christine said...

WOW! This is an AWESOME idea!!! I am so doing it with my 6 year olds next year! :) Thanks for sharing!

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