FIRST HAND LEARNING E-NEWSLETTER
Vol. 6, No. 6

FOCUS ON JOURNALS
(Part 4) Read More: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Using Journals as an Assessment Tool
Previous tips have focused on using journals with students to practice, hone, and deepen their critical thinking skills. By planning consistent and meaningful recording opportunities, you can enhance students’ learning through firsthand inquiry. And once you have students keeping records of their findings, questions and ideas on a regular basis, you have a tool to evaluate their individual progress:


• Discover how well students have grasped specific concepts.
• Assess their ability to record observations, use pertinent vocabulary, generate questions, and other key skills and concepts. • Use the evidence at your fingertips to evaluate their progress over time, to provide helpful feedback and to inform your teaching.
• Focus your comments on positive aspects of the students’ work to encourage further investigation and help them feel proud of their efforts.


What are your top journal-keeping tips? Please share your ideas, experiences, examples of student work, or anything else with FHL’s community of learners. Email us at inquiries@firsthandlearning.org. If we publish your submission in an upcoming enewsletter or online at the FHL website, we will send you a free class set of FHL Field Journals or Young Observer’s Notebooks!


Learning to Record – Recording to Learn
Would you be interested in more opportunities for using formatted journals with children? First Hand Learning is considering the development of subject-specific journals that would focus children’s observations on exploring specific places (the zoo, the art gallery), on technology (electricity, hand tools), or on examining aspects of their own life (autobiography, family history). Would subject-specific journals be of use with your students? What would you like to see developed? Take this opportunity to influence the development process:
• Email your thoughts and reactions to: inquires@firsthandlearning.org .
• Provide us with your mailing address and we will send you a draft version of one of these new journals for you to review and critique. We appreciate the feedback. Thank you!
_________________________________________________


The First Hand Learning Catalog offers nature journals, hands-on science kits, posters, and more. Go to http://www.firsthandlearning.org/catalog/catalog_frameset.html

We hope you found this edition of the FIRST HAND LEARNING E-NEWSLETTER informative. Please contact us with any comments, suggestions, or questions you may have by emailing us at: inquires@firsthandlearning.org.

This e-newsletter is a product of First Hand Learning, Inc.

Subscribe for free at www.firsthandlearning.org.

Unsubscribe by sending an email to inquires@firsthandlearning.org with the subject "unsubscribe."

Contact us at: (716) 831-8722 or inquires@firsthandlearning.org.

First Hand Learning, Inc. is committed to protecting the privacy of its colleagues and customers. FHL does not sell or rent email addresses to other organizations.

© 2011 First Hand Learning, Inc.