Journals are notebooks in which students record their thoughts on various topics.  They are useful in the classroom if teachers have students write in them on a regular basis.  They are not diaries in which students record the daily events of their lives.  They are places where students can record thoughts and opinions.  Many teachers use a journal writing activity to start the class.  Others use journals to record student reflections on their own learning.  Whatever the use, journals allow students to practice "thinking with a pencil," an activity that helps them become more critical thinkers.

Websites on Journals:

Instructional Strategies Online: What is Journal Writing?

Ideas for Journals

Education World: Journal Writing Every Day: Teachers Say It Really Works!

Can Teach: Journal Topics

Instructional Strategies Online: Journal Writing Prompts Journal Writing Ideas

Activating Prior Knowledge
Vocabulary Development
Comprehension Strategies
Summarization Techniques
Writing Across the Curriculum
Getting to Know Students
Technology Tools