Learning Logs: Writing to Learn, Reading to Assessby: Daniel Heuser

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Good inquiry activities help students hone their inquiry abilities and teach them about the nature of science. Inquiry is also a way to teach science content, and teachers need to know if this instruction is helping children gain these important ideas. This article describes the "Learning Log," a tool used to help build knowledge from inquiry activities, along with a rubric used to measure accurately what students have learned.

  • Elementary
  • Middle
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Reviews (3)
  • on Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:02 PM

Using inquiry-based activities in the laboratory and then having scholars write about the experience (providing evidence for their results through learning logs) helps scholars to develop enduring understandings of science concepts. This article specifically speaks of assessing students through inquiry processes. Great information and good strategies for educators.

Lorrie Armfield  (Laurel, MD)
Lorrie Armfield (Laurel, MD)

  • on Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:53 PM

In this article, the author discusses how to use learning logs to evaluate how well students are understanding inquiry-based learning activities. After completing activities, students engage in a classroom discussion to reflect on what they learned. After discussing what they have learned, students respond to two writing prompts in their learning log. The student responses in the logs enable the teacher to assess how well their students understand the information. A rubric to evaluate the student logs is included with the article. This article outlines a great way to integrate writing into science.

Maureen Stover  (Seaside, CA)
Maureen Stover (Seaside, CA)

  • on Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:11 PM

While reading this article, I felt as if the author were sitting next to me, supporting me in how I would be able to integrate Learning Log prompts into my classroom. He gave examples of the conversation, the investigation, and the logs created by the students, as well as the rubric used to assess their learning. He described how the students responded to different prompts and to encouraging comments during their writing time. I’m impressed by his breakdown of the rubric into types of response: explanation, application, generalization, and justification; he shows so clearly what level of higher level thinking the children are exhibiting—what a terrific way to assess their readiness for further lessons!

Allison Cooke
Allison Cooke

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