Reading Response Journal FREEBIE

I have been wanting to post about this for awhile now and just keep forgetting or writing about other things going on in my classroom. However, this is something that is very cool because I have been trying to figure out a way to incorporate reading response journals in a more meaningful and useful way in my classroom and  I think I have hit the JACKPOT!

I first saw this idea from Courtney at Swimming Into Second. She came up with this brilliant idea to design  at least two meaningful questions from the story of the week and have the students respond in a journal. I am using California Treasures so many of the stories are the same, but with a few variations. Many of the stories are not taught in the same order as traditional Treasures apparently. So I have come up with my own questions for Unit 2.

Here is what I have my students do: The main story of the week takes one to two days to complete. I have either used questions from Treasures or designed my own to have the students' use their critical thinking skills to explain and prove their answers (No multiple choice here). Each students cuts out and glues their prompt to the top of their journal page.

We then use a bubble map to organize our ideas and thoughts as a class. This helps get their ideas flowing so they are not just sitting their "thinking" about what to write. It is also a great scaffolding technique for those students who are not the strongest writers. It gives them a reference point. Then I have the students complete their journal entry. I always tell them, "Pretend I have never read the story before. Prove your answer to me with supporting details."  Here is a student sample:

I hope this process helps my students connect more with the story each week. It forces them to dig deep into the story and really think about what they have been reading. Here are a couple sample questions from second grade Unit 2 California Treasures. The first is from the story, Babu's Song.
The second sample is from One Grain of Rice.

If you are a second grade Treasures teacher, I am offering Unit 2 prompts for FREE. If you grab them, I would love for you to leave a comment or follow my blog.

By the way, this is my first time uploading anything to Google Docs. I am so excited I figured out how to do it. Now I can share more freebies with all of you!

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I hope this week is "spooktakular" for you!

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