Category Archives: Reflections

Blog Education Reflections

NCTies 2012

Blog Education Reflections

What I’ve Been Missing

For the last nine weeks, I have been feeling that something was missing from my class. I have loved having the Moodle, but I felt that it lacked a place for students to just think and explore their own thoughts and ideas in and out of school. I really wanted my students to become writers, readers, and thinkers, but I didn’t have something concrete for them to use as a collection of these processes. Instead, I was asking them to synthesize information to put into a final product on the Moodle without having a place for them to construct their thoughts, enter the “Daybook.”

From the advice of Mrs. Amy Pridgen, a colleague that works in Pender County Schools, I picked up the book Thinking Out Loud on Paper The Student Daybook as a Tool to Foster Learning by Lil Brannon, Sally Griffin, Karen Haag, Tony Iannone, Cynthia Urbanski, and Shana Woodward. The book was created from the authors experiences in the National Writing Project at the University of North Carolina Writing Project (Brannon ). After reading the book, I was very excited about the idea of using the Daybook in class. I felt that the book itself was a bit vague on a lot of areas of using the Daybook, but it gave the reader enough of an overview to allow them to develop their own uses for the book. The process is very student centered to authentic learning experiences that they encounter on a daily basis, and it is easily adapted to multiple uses.

Initially, I wanted to find a means for creating an online Daybook using Google Documents or Dropbox. However, I ultimately decided against this idea because I wanted my students to take the Daybook with them everywhere throughout the day. I did not want them to feel tied down to an electronic device, and they all don’t have an iPod Touch, iPad, or Android device. Speaking of those devices, I have downloaded a few apps to play with the idea of keeping my own digital Daybook. So far, “Day One” and “Maxjournal” seem to have the nicest features.

I started keeping a Daybook last week, and the class starts keeping their own Daybooks this week. It is my hope that they will increase student buy-in to the writing process. I am hoping that they take ownership of these books.