Thursday, October 18, 2012

Organizing for Interactive Reading Journals

Interactive journals are so much fun.  My experience has been that students across the grade levels really enjoy creating them.  This post is devoted to providing tips for organizing for interactive reading journals.  This is part one of two parts.  

You will need a blank journal, notebook paper, notebook, or blank book.  I usually prepare the night or week before by writing my lessons in the journal. 

I keep a journal as an example for my students.  When I work with them in small groups, it is convenient for me to hold up my journal as a model.  The students then copy my notes or write their own from the reading lesson that is read or spoken aloud.

I usually begin with a blank template.  The illustrations have been drawn.  I will write my text in each empty rectangle.  The students usually ask me if they can copy my illustrations, if time permits, I allow them to.

Using colored pencils or crayons, students begin a lesson by shading the background of their pages.  It is not necessary but having notes of different colors does make finding information so much easier (and more interesting!)

On this page I cut one page at a diagonal. The edges were glued on three sides.  One side was left open for notes.  This makes a great pocket within the journal for storing flashcards and paper handouts.

Both journal entries are for a unit on Colonial America.  These are my notes and illustrations.  Students summarize what I say and record them in their own journals.  I have found that students cherish the information that they create way more than any guided reading book that I provide.

Allow students to create a border or illustration on most days of journaling.  Students will really enjoy this.  This really helps them to connect to what they write.


  1. I've been in the habit of making foldables for every page in my interactive notebooks, but I LOVE the idea of making a pocket page for information that just doesn't fit in another way!

  2. Thank you so much for the feedback. These were very helpful with my students last school year. I appreciate anything that can help my students stay organized.

    Thanks so much for leaving feedback.