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General Science and Teaching

Interactive Reflective Learning Journals

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Amanda Chavez Amanda Chavez 2725 Points

Hello! I recently read an article on Interactive Reflective Learning (IRL) Journals and how to use them in the science classroom. My question is, does this work? I've seen students use normal Science Journals in class before, but I've never seen these put to use. If this is really a great resource, I would love to give it a shot in my own classroom some day (I'm a student). Thanks!

Carolina Olvera Carolina Olvera 415 Points

Hi Amanda! Back when I was in middle school, we had science journals where we would write the vocabulary words with visuals, notes over activities, and reflect on what we learn and thought about the activity. The teacher would take our notebooks every six weeks for grades. Our teacher would also let us use our notebooks for tests. I am currently taking Science in the Elementary School 1 and our professor has us write in our interactive science notebook (ISN). We take notes on what will helps us, on what’s going on in the activities, and reflections. So far I love it, because it’s notes that I can look back on and will help me and the fact that we can take notes how we want instead of it being a certain way. I feel like it’s a good way to see students progress and seeing the way the understand things.

Emily Dominguez Emily Dominguez 2415 Points

I am also a student studying elementary education. I absolutely believe in Interactive Learning Journals! Not only are journals a great way to track the students' progress throughout the school year, but they can also be a fun way for students to expand on their own theories and ideas. Using interactive journals has been proven to be a great way to keep students engaged in their science learning and can help them keep their work and thoughts organized.

Danielle Pinto Danielle Pinto 400 Points

Hi Amanda! Like these other two ladies, I am also a student studying elementary education, and I'm also wrapping up my first semester of student teaching! I the elementary science content course that I am taking, my professor has us keep an interactive science journal. I like it because it's an easy way to keep up with notes/activities that we do in class. I also have been able to see my students use (or not use) their interactive science notebooks during student teaching this semester and I think that there are some advantages and disadvantages to them when it comes to elementary school kids. I have a group of 3rd graders, and a good portion of them aren't the most organized. So I think before giving students a science journal it is important to explain the purpose of it and keep an example of your own! I would go so far as to even have a lesson at the beginning of the semester on how the journal should be organized, how to keep it updated, and how it will ultimately benefit your students. Show an example of a good interactive notebook and a messy one that way your expectations are clear.

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