Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Teacher To Teacher Question?????

Dear Fellow Seminary Teachers (past and present),

This was my first year teaching early morning Seminary. I started teaching in October and my students did not have class journals. I did not attempt to add that to our routine, but would like to include student journals as part of our every day lessons and class work next year.

What works best for student journals?
What type and size?
Do you use a composition book? a 3-ring binder?
What do you use journals for the most?
What do you have students place in their journals?

I am thinking whatever we use needs to meet the following requirements:
1) Each student has the same size/type of journal
2) Needs to be the size of a standard sheet of notebook or printer paper
3) Should be conducive to gluing in handouts as well as adding pages with 3 hole-punches
4) Needs to last the entire school year.
5) Would be nice to have lined and un-lined pages.
6) The completed journal, ideally, should be a "road map" that documents our year and becomes a keepsake.

I am sure I am missing some items., please add to my list and tell me why you chose the type of student journals you have.

I am not certain how many readers will see this. According to my statistics, There are a lot of readers who stop by here daily. Please share your expertise!

Thank you for any input!


  1. When we have the sales tax holiday on school supplies (usually about a month before school starts), I buy several black lined spiral notebooks and black 3-ring binders for my students. The lined notebook is used for private items or pages I want them to tear out and pass in to me. Many of them use it to take personal class notes, like copying down our charts or other class items.

    The three ring binder holds all worksheets and handouts. I have them use it for all the years they have me as a teacher (going on three now). They take the binder and notebook(s) home when they graduate. Some of them have been through three spiral notebooks, and others are on their first. I consider the spiral notebook to be scratch paper. It clips or sits in their binders along with a zipper pouch that holds their scripture mastery cards, a pen and pencil, the year's bookmark, and a desk copy of True to the Faith.

    I don't bother with glue-ins any more. I did a few cut-out/glue-ins my first year but none this year. It's easier to do a handout with a quote, mark it during class, and have the kids write about or answer questions about the topic. That goes in their 3-ring binder.

    I suggest they organize their binder by topic alphabetically. I have one just like theirs, and that's how I do it. Some of them just stack stuff up according to date. It's their binder, and as long as the kids can find older handouts, it's fine with me.

  2. I usually use composition books. One year I was going to use a 3 ring binder but went with the comp book. It looks like the new curriculum really embraces the use of a journal.. I'm so excited! I have seen some teachers ask the kids to bring in the "journal" - notebook. Our budget is small but in the past I've just bought them but I am contemplating having them bring one in for their use. There are small journals available through BYU - but I think it would be filled up before Christmas. This past year I had nice journals for the kids and I had a quote from the most recent conference or a scripture on the chalkboard for them to copy into their book - and a question that went along with the quote or scripture. The kids knew that when they arrived they should get out their scriptures and their journal and answer that question. Also if I had a great quote during the lesson I'd have that ready for them to glue into their journal.