Buddy Journals for Writing Practice

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Use this tool to enhance writing skills in students. Take the pressure off of writing while developing crucial reading and writing skills.

What are Buddy Journals?

Many students find writing to be an overwhelming task. Writing strategies that can simultaneously put students at ease and encourage writing are useful tools for the classroom. The Buddy Journal is a great way to let students practice their writing skills while taking the pressure off of writing.

A Buddy Journal is a journal shared by two students. It is passed back and forth between the students, who take turns writing in the journal. The idea is that the students become writing partners who help each other and share their writing. Assignments can be made fun all while improving writing skills in students.

How does it help?

A Buddy Journal helps students develop writing skills and sharing skills. It creates a different environment for the students to write and express themselves. It gives them an opportunity to practice and improve their writing process, skills and fluency without the pressure of a traditional graded assignment. It also provides students with the opportunity to share their writing with a small and less intimidating audience. This helps students work together and collaborate with other students.

Buddy Journals in the classroom

Incorporating this tool in the classroom can be made simple by following these 3 steps:

  1. Introduce the strategy: Success of the strategy lies in active engagement of the students. Introduce the strategy to the students as a fun semi-free style writing assignment. Explain that these journals are a chance for students to explore their writing techniques and develop better writing fluency.
  2. Create guidelines: Although the journals are intended to encourage free writing, teachers need to ensure that only appropriate content is written in the journals. Guidelines can be framed for what to write, how to share, how often to make an entry and how the writings will be graded.
  3. The process: Two students can be paired together and share a journal. The teacher can give specific topics for the week and the students can take turns writing their entries in the journal. At the end of the week the students can be given directions for sharing their entries with their partner and collaborate with each other on how to improve.

Buddy Journals are a process that makes writing enjoyable and interesting for students.

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