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1.  Beginning of class/bell ringer/journal logistics?

Greetings! I have an open classroom with out chairs and tables. I wanted to do a bell ringer/ journal at the beginning of each class but I am just concerned about the logistics with kids not having desks/chairs to sort of anchor themselves. Does anyone have any suggestions on tips/ tricks to make this work? Also, I had an idea for an interactive journal where students from across my classes share one journal and they can use think marks to sort of "reply" or "comment" on other entries. Does anyone have thoughts on that? ------------------------------------------- Jennifer Simmons Lexington SC -------------------------------------------

2.  RE: Beginning of class/bell ringer/journal logistics?

I have clipboards students can use since we don't have desks. However, I took my desks out of my language arts classroom before I switched to theatre and my students wrote just as we do in the theatre, they sit on the floor and use their journals or clipboards as they prefer. I haven't done interactive journals. We tend to use journals for observation, reflection, and character analysis. ------------------------------------------- Amy Sidwell Director of Theatrical Arts Woodburn Arts and Communications Academy Canby OR -------------------------------------------

3.  RE: Beginning of class/bell ringer/journal logistics?

I did the same as Amy (stole it from her, actually) and it has been fine. I do have chairs, but my students just as often sit on the floor to write. I'm very clear with the kids from the beginning of the school year that they are expected to write and that while I do have some clipboards, I can't guarantee anything so they should bring a hard surface for writing. Most of them have a binder so it's no big deal. ------------------------------------------- Laura Steenson Theatre Director Reynolds High School Troutdale OR -------------------------------------------

4.  RE: Beginning of class/bell ringer/journal logistics?

Go to a discount home improvement store, get a sheet of shower wall and cut it into squares, apprx 14x14. Now you have hard surfaces/mini desks AND white boards. :o) Kids pick them up when they walk in the room. 

I've changed how I use journals so much over the years, I'm not sure I'm qualified to answer to second part of your post - 

Tiffany Carstensen
Salem OR

5.  RE: Beginning of class/bell ringer/journal logistics?

If you have dry erase boards in the classroom, a really good way to get kids "discussing" within their responses to a prompt is by doing a silent board discussion. You put the prompt at the top of the board, give each student a dry erase marker and have them respond to not only the prompt, but also each other's responses. It ends up being this awesome web of conversation and works really well to have students' minds start to warm up before any activities or theatrical exercises. For the shy students in your class, it also gives them a great way to express themselves without actually having to speak up. The mandated silence lets them really focus on the writing and the prompt. If you do not have dry erase boards, you can always use the giant butcher's paper and place it around the room as if it was the white board. You also don't need desks for this activity, as it is up and active. Hope it helps! Hannah ------------------------------------------- Jaclyn Fry Theatre Teacher Skyline High School Carnation WA -------------------------------------------

6.  RE: Beginning of class/bell ringer/journal logistics?

I use creative thinking prompts called "What if". They are whimsical, unrealistic thoughts that students can respond to. An example would be "What if you created a new food dish called Spluf? Write the recipe." A majority of these were found in a small flip book that I used many years ago while teaching a writing class. ------------------------------------------- Lisa Tierney Director Coffee High School Theatre Arts Douglas, GA -------------------------------------------

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