These are some examples of the journals when we first started in October.
My journals were never as fabulous as those you see in Fountas and Pinnell's Guiding Readers and Writers (I LOVE that book!) but I did learn so much about my students from them. I promised that I would write back at least once a week.
What I learned from the quantitative part of my study was that the students that were most impacted by these journals were my middle guys. Not the highest students. Not the struggling ones. It was the middle ones that are often neglected or overlooked. These were the ones that showed the most improvement over the course of the study.
These examples were from 2005 and I have learned a lot since then. In the future, I would definitely include language frames to help students understand the differences in types of language used when describing characters versus summarizing, etc.
Dialogue journals will forever be a part of my classroom practice. They are windows to the souls of my little readers. So...as you think of what to do with all of those spiral notebooks that will be heading your way in two months, maybe you will want to reserve one of them for a reading dialogue journal!