I believe that sometimes the Universe sends us messages. Yesterday might have been one of those days.
I was interviewing a new cleaning person at 11:00, so 9:00 found me going through yet another box of my school treasures because we all know who is really being interviewed in one of these experiences. To avoid the likelihood of our potential cleaning person running screaming from our house, and me ending up on the next episode of "Hoarders", I thought I'd try once again to tackle the nightmare room where I keep my school stuff. As expected, I unearthed a few treasures that I had completely forgotten about!
Having struck a sweetheart deal with my new household helper - YAY!- I continued on to my grandson's school to pick him up. There I ran into a parent of some former students of mine who excitedly told me of a recent conversation she had with a parent of two of my Rainbow City kids - now adults. The topic of their conversation was all about what a great teacher I was because I had taught her kids how to write, really write, and to love writing. "How do you do it?" she asked. Seriously, in a word: Journaling!
I know I've written about this before, but to me, journaling is the single most important activity that you can ever do with your students. In so many ways, Interactive Notebooking should be making that clear to all of us right now. Done right, Interactive Notebooks are an advancement in the concept of a learning log. And, as the amazing author Janie Lynn Panagopoulos told my students and me so many times, "If you have no journals, no one will remember you a hundred years from now." Journals are our communication tool with the future. Think about it: What do you yourself know about your great-great grandparents? What do you know about their childhood adventures, their thoughts on growing up, how they felt during the awkward and the best of their life experiences? What did they like to snack on? Who were their friends? If they kept journals and you are lucky enough to be in possession of them, you do know. One of the saddest tales I've ever heard was when a friend told me that her mother had burned all of her own grandmother's journals in a major cleaning frenzy. Sometimes cleaning can go way too far.
Because the Universe sent me those two messages yesterday, I feel compelled to share the instructional handbook written by my Rainbow City kids a few years ago, who wanted to leave a Rainbow City Legacy by telling other kids about the magic of journaling. This was the #1 treasure I unearthed. It is now a coffee table book in my home. We will simply clean around it. It's way too valuable to ever get lost again!
Please consider this a blog series on journaling, as I am going to share it little by little. I hope you'll consider following my blog so that you won't miss an installment! I also hope you'll share these messages from my kids with your students, and that it will make journaling as natural as breathing in your classroom!
And now, from the mouths of my Rainbow City babes....
If you'd like to know what some of our Rainbow City Journal starters were, they are included in this resource, one of the first I ever posted on TpT!
For more October ideas, please check out the posts of these great Teacher Talk bloggers: