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Monday, March 28, 2011

Of Journals and Correction.

Lately I have been very busy because I have asked my students to start writing journals. My students write three journal entries for one week and they have to get it corrected from me and rewrite again. The journal entry can be on anything they like to write about. It can be describing the tree outside their classroom, or guesses about why the teacher was late, or describing their friend or the weather...it can be about anything. Anything, as long as it is not personal. 

I have started this so that they will improve their writing skills, express their thoughts better. I have also asked them to borrow/use the words and phrases they come across in their reading to express their own ideas and emotions in their journals. Like other classes my students don't maintain writing portfolios but they update their reading portfolios by writing the book reviews. I don't know where will this will take us, but am hopeful that it will result into something positive. 

The only problem, on my part, lies in getting the journals corrected on time and handing them back. At the time when i asked them to write, i didn't realize the amount of correction i would have to do. I have three classes, in each class there are more than forty students, a total of hundred twenty six students(126), each one of them writes three times in a week, which sums up my correction work of three hundred seventy eight(378) journal entries a week. May be I have bitten off more than what I can chew.

My table, my journals.
One journal entry by a class eleven girl reads, ''No one is allowed to gossip during study hours, so some students who love to share their feelings feel very frustrated for having to keep quiet. Some who cant control speaking, murmur to their friends but when the murmurs slowly turn to loud noise, the captain stands up from the corner and shouts loudly, 'Girls'. With no option left and having to obey, all gossip lovers pause for a moment. the study hours are exclusively for studies but some other activities can be seen around. Some can be singing, some chewing, some sleeping, some plucking hair from their heads and some yawning. Some of the students can be seen looking time and again at their watches to begin the count down.

Another boy from class eleven science writes about what his mother advised him, '' Smile can make your life different, it will cost you nothing, this was what my mother always told me. i followed her advice, though at first it was very hard for me to smile at every face. But slowly I was able to do it. Now I do it always and I like it. I gain pleasure as others smile back at me. Like my mother told me, I am experiencing a different world, this world is beautiful with flowers in every eyes. I use to see serious faces before but didn't realize that it was not them, it was me. Now I will smile every time to be happy and share happiness.''


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