The Teacher's Tool Kit For Literacy

The Hidden Power of Reading Journals

Episode Summary

In this episode, literacy consultant Sharon Callen uncovers the hidden power of Reading Journals, discussing their impact on comprehension, relationships, and diverse reading materials. She offers practical strategies and book recommendations for educators.

Episode Notes

In this episode, literacy consultant Sharon Callen and team explore the hidden power of Reading Journals and their essential role in a teacher's toolkit. These journals offer a unique strategy for building and monitoring students' comprehension while fostering strong relationships and a diverse reading experience.

Sharon begins with a brief preamble, setting the stage for the conversation. She then delves into the hidden power of Reading Journals, addressing the common struggles faced by teachers and how these journals can help overcome them. She defines what a Reading Journal is and proceeds to unpack the essential details surrounding its implementation.

The importance of prompts in facilitating meaningful journal entries is emphasised. Sharon discusses the usefulness of prompts by Aidan Chambers, David Hornsby and his team, as well as Barrett's Taxonomy in stimulating thoughtful responses.

Routines for utilising Reading Journals are explored, including the use of Anchor Charts to support student engagement. Sharon highlights Teachific as a resource for prompts specifically designed for Reading Journals. She stresses the significance of establishing prompts prior to reading, guiding students' thinking throughout the process.

The advantages and power of Reading Journals are thoroughly discussed, with a focus on their integration with the arts to enhance students' creativity and self-expression. Sharon shares anecdotes of students sharing their journal entries, illustrating the profound impact these reflections can have on personal growth.

The episode also includes professional reading recommendations, with Sharon suggesting the PDF "Reading Response Journals" as a valuable resource for educators. She introduces a success criteria checklist for evaluating powerful Reading Journal responses.

Addressing the issue of time management, Sharon provides strategies for incorporating Reading Journals into busy schedules and emphasises the importance of prioritising this practice.

Finally, Sharon recommends great literature to share with students, highlighting "Evie and Rhino," "The Legend of Little Fur," and "The Spiderwick Chronicles" as engaging and impactful reads.

Throughout the episode, Sharon Callen's expertise shines as she explores the hidden power of Reading Journals, offering practical insights and recommendations for educators seeking to incorporate this practice into their teaching approach.

Some of the topics covered are:

And much more!

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Candace, a year 4,5,6 teacher at Kaurna Plains School, describes how she uses Reading Journals to connect Reading, Writing and Word Work. Students have increased engagement due the meaningful purpose in their work. See the video here.


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The Teacher’s Tool Kit For Literacy is the free podcast for motivated teachers and school leaders who want the latest tips, tricks and tools to inspire their students and school community in literacy learning. 

Hear from literacy expert and founder of Cue Learning, Sharon Callen, and special guests.

At Cue Learning, our literacy specialists draw on over 30 years of teaching and international consulting experience to deliver world-class learning solutions. We equip, empower and support teachers to become their authentic selves. 

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