The Summer Reading and Response Journal is designed for students to
engage in various forms of readings in a “scavenger hunt” style and to reflect
on those readings in a manner that both suits their personality and
demonstrates skills required of a student in their rising grade level.
The Meaning of Reading: In its various definitions, “reading” is really about looking carefully so as to understand the meaning of something. That something is often printed text, and in the traditional sense, we ask students to read that text in order to learn and interpret new information. It’s obvious that today’s world presents students with many opportunities to read printed text; however, today’s world also presents students with countless opportunities to learn through non-printed text, i.e. various experiences that are not simply limited by print media. We will refer to these readings as observational readings – readings that depend on experience or observation alone. The Summer Reading and Response Journal emphasizes the student’s reflection on both traditional readings and on observational readings.
The Benefits of Journaling: Discussing the benefits and importance of using journals for students could take hours. However, in a means to quantify simply the importance of keeping a journal, here is a little formula:
Writing facilitates learning.
Journaling emphasizes writing.
Therefore, journaling facilitates learning.
Journaling provides a student with easy and powerful ways to accelerate his/her personal development. In addition to providing the student with emphasized opportunities to articulate their thoughts (and to practice proper sentence structure in doing so), journaling provides the student great opportunity to reflect on the world in which they live. Those reflections can come in various ways, and the Summer Reading and Response Journal encourages students to understand the various ways that reflections on the world can be made and kept.