August 11, 2013

Learning Log Format - A Literacy Strategy

As part of my current Grad School Work, I recently had to create a literacy coaching experience about a particular literacy strategy.  The strategy I chose was from Rachel Billmeyer's text Strategies to Engage the Mind of the Learner.  First, I can't say enough good things about this text.  It is VERY teacher-friendly and includes the blackline master of any graphic organizers needed to implement a strategy on the page immediately following the strategy's description (including step-by-step directions), reasons to use the strategy, when to use the strategy, and how the strategy can be linked to assessment.  I love it and have loved getting to explore some of the strategies this summer.  It will be kept handy as the school year begins!

The strategy I worked with for this lesson was called the Learning Log Format.  It is a relatively simple, 4-square graphic organizer that includes a prompt in each box for students to respond to either before, during, or after reading.  I love that it is customizable for the text/age/content you are working with, that it includes writing with reading, and that it prompts deeper thinking.  Most importantly, I love that it guides students in how to do this deeper thinking while they are reading.  The skills strong readers utilize are not ingrained within us automatically - they have to be cultivated.

This is the digital text I created for this assignment.  It includes a link to a Wiki Space set up to host the sharing of Learning Log Formats.  Hopefully this will be added to as the year goes on - I am certainly excited to see about modifying this strategy for use with my little kindergarten learners!  I'm sensing large-group versions and pictures rather than words initially when students attempt it independently.  Certainly a possibility though!

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