3. Learning Logs These are a form of journal that focuses on work that students are doing in the classroom and generally does not include comments about personal matters. Learning logs work best if teachers respond regularly to what students write, but they require fewer responses than dialogue journals. Insist that students bring the learning log to every lesson and let them know that you will be using their logs as an important method of assessment. Learning logs can be used at various times during lesson or unit of work. Learning logs are an excellent support for class and group discussion. By asking students to reflect on a key question in writing before engaging in discussion, you give all students the opportunity to think carefully before making a response. In this way, more students become involved in the discussion and the discussion tends to be richer. Encourage students, especially struggling writers, to use mind maps, sketches and diagrams as well as narrative.
Some teachers prefer to use a double page learning log. Students use the left hand page of the journal to make notes and record their observations, analysis, predictions and reflections, often on texts they are studying. They use the right hand side of the page to reflect upon and evaluate their learning and to ask questions. Teachers usually make their comments on the right hand page. Teachers who use learning logs find they provide excellent insight into their students' thinking and learning. As with other types of journals, you need to prepare students by modeling a range of entries.