Friday Journals with a FREEBIE

I am linking up with The Teaching Tribune for Tried & True Thursday.

This year has been all about trying new things in my classroom! Some have worked and some have not! One goal that I had for myself this year was to improve and increase parent communication and involvement. I am currently working on a blog post for you about lots of things I have tried and the outcome. However, I thought I might give you a sneak peak by writing about my Friday Journals!

As a mom, I hate when I ask my child what they did at school and they respond "nothing." I know all of their teachers and I seriously doubt that this is EVER the case. I figure if my kids are telling me this, then my students are probably doing the same things. So I set out to fix that! 

Each student in my class has a composition book that is labeled as their Friday Journal. The last 15 minutes of every Friday is dedicated to writing a letter to their parents in their journal. As a whole group we brainstorm activities and skills that we worked on during the week. This is the best part! I am shocked by how much they remember! Then they are given quiet time to write anything they want to their parents.

Students take the journals home over the weekend. They show their note to their parents and parents are encouraged to write back! Most of them do! I love to see the excited little faces on Monday morning when they discover the note from mom in their journal. 

If a student did not receive a letter from their parent's they can leave their journal in the writing tray and I will write them a letter before the next Friday. It is a great opportunity for me to strengthen the relationship with these students who probably need me the most.

The activity has so many benefits! Students are demonstrating to me that they remember what they learned during the week! It is a form of an exit ticket! Additionally, they are practicing their proper friendly letter format all year. Most importantly, parents get to read about all the new things their child has learned and then tell them how proud they are! 

Thinking about starting Friday Journals in your class? All you need is a composition book or spiral notebook for each student. I made some FREE labels for you to tape or glue on the front of their journals! Just click on the picture to download!

A fun way to get started is to write a note to the students and/or parents on the first page. This is a great way to demonstrate the friendly letter format!

Happy journaling! Be sure to check out the other ideas in the link party!