Physical Science

Daily Learning Logs

As the traditional academic year comes to an end, I always review snapshots of the daily learning logs of my students. I find that reviewing a few that I scan into my files helps me to look at what went well for the students during the past year or semester. I am wondering if others assign daily learning logs to their students and use them as a way to peek into how they are learning as well as to ascertain what worked well for a specific strand of differentiation or for a particular students with a learning style known to me. Comments and suggestions for how to use student daily learning logs to improve classroom instruction will be helpful. Y'all chime in, now:} Thanks so much. ~ patty

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45895 Activity Points

Hi Patty, I really like using daily learning logs because it helps us see a student's progression over an academic year. Last year I taught an elementary science lab. Student's used science journals to record their lab procedures, notes, and results of experiments. It was fantastic to look back through the journals at the end of the year to see how much they had progressed. With the increased influence of technology in our classrooms, I would like to explore keeping a classroom blog or website to track students as they engage in the world of learning.

Maureen Stover
Maureen Stover
40810 Activity Points

I also use a type of learning log for pre-service elementary teachers in my science methods class. I have the students purchase a bound composition book for their Science Journal. In their Journal, they have sections on Reflections, Class Notes (including Question of the Week), Field Assignments Notes and Lab Activities. Since my classes only meet once a week, so I have them write a reflection of what they learned, new insights, etc. from each class. Students also respond to a Question of the Week. Students write their individual responses to the questions then discuss their responses first with their group, then the entire class shares. Students can then go back and add or modify their original responses. In the Lab Activities section, the students write all their data, explanations, conclusions, etc. from activities they do in class. I also have the students write what they learned or any new insights after each activity.

Kathy Sparrow
Kathy Sparrow
44793 Activity Points

Hi Patty, Kathy, Maureen and Thread Participants, Patty said, "Comments and suggestions for how to use student daily learning logs to improve classroom instruction will be helpful. Y'all chime in, now:}" From reading the responses thus far, it sounds like daily learning logs are similar to (possibly just another name for) science journals. If that is the case, I found several NSTA Learning Center resources that decribe ways to use these writing tools. The example I am attaching here was something I found out about when I attended a 2010 NSTA annual conference in Minneapolis. Science Notebook:

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
80318 Activity Points

If you find the pdf I attached in the earlier post useful, you may want to check out the additional resources listed at the end of the booklet. One online resource that is mentioned is the Science Notebooks in K12 Classrooms site.
The resource materials on science notebooks are abundant!

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
80318 Activity Points

I also like to reflect with my students on their progress as shown in their ISN. I would like to implement the Never Ending Story this fall. Students use scientific illustration to show what they have learned on different topics and put them all together in one long "story". I will attach the resource to this post. I am curious to hear from anyone who is using this method.

Attachments

Stacy Holland
Stacy Holland
6775 Activity Points

Carolyn - Thank you for attaching the great PDF from the Minneapolis conference!! The student examples are excellent. I have found that modelling and showing numerous examples throughout the school year really hooks my middle school alternative students. I used to show student examples in the fall when I introduced SNs and then again after Christmas break...but I have found that a constant stream (once a week or so) of modelling consistently "catches" those students who are on their journey and have arrived at the point where they are READY to make that next step in journalling.

I also use the terms Science Journals and Science Notebooks interchangeably (is that a word? it's late. LOL)...do other educators feel the same?

Alyce Dalzell
Alyce Dalzell
64075 Activity Points

Stacy, thank you for sharing the article about the Never Ending Stories murals as a way to "journal". The student art work displayed was amazing. I thought it was very interesting how students took their masterpieces with them to the next grade to continue their science learning stories. Alyce, I agree there may not be a great difference in many teachers' minds between journals and notebooks, other than a notebook being a type of journal. Kathy said she had her students use bound composition books. Then the murals Stacy mentioned would be another type of journal. What do others think?

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
80318 Activity Points

Stacy, Your enthusiasm and journal link has made me so anxious to return and begin journalling with my alternative middle students! I have always had my students diagram and label; the specific strategies will take me to another level with my students. Have you read additional material by Mayer? Alyce

Alyce Dalzell
Alyce Dalzell
64075 Activity Points

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