Our newest addition to Championship Training S.E.T. for Success Class is a weekly
Journal. I have toyed with the idea of keeping a Journal for years but have never really
had the thing firmed up in my mind as to exactly how I wanted it to go. In the past
several weeks, things have come together and I have put out our first Journal for
Mondays' class which starts the second semester.
This past semester one of the things I put into the class was daily reading time. We have
block schedule, therefore, 90 minute classes. We would take up to 20 minutes of each
day's class to read. The students were to obtain a book that they found inspirational which
in some way related to class. Usually students would get a book about a sports figure. Of
course, some kids did not go out and get their book. To combat this I made available my
Chicken Soup for the Soul Books in class, and those students who were bookless would
be required to get those books and read them. There are many Chicken Soup books out
people. Secondly, we emphasize the fact that the person who knows how to read and
doesn't, isn't any better off than the person who does not know how to read."
Furthermore, we stress that if you read just 20 minutes a day about topics important to
you, at the end of the year you will have read 20, 200 page books. After just 4-5 years
you will have read around 100 books, 20,000+ pages and have become and expert in the
One last thing on the reading. If you go to the Chicken Soup home page, you can sign up
for "home delivery" and everyday in you mailbox you will have a soup story. As a test, I
started to get these stories and distribute them to the kids each day. I would reformat the
stories so that I would have just one piece of paper with stories on each side. When asked
if we should continue to do the stories or should we stop, there was overwhelming
response to keep distributing the stories. They liked them. They asked if they could
continue to read. Isn't that refreshing - students wanting to read.
We are looking to have the same success with the Journal. Each Mon we will hand out a
Journal for the week. We are looking for them to write in the Journal each day for about
5-10 minutes (we are going to cut our reading time down to around 10-15 minutes to
accommodate the writing exercise). On the first and last pages we will have some
motivational material. In the beginning we will probably take the inspiration from the
Never Never Quit series we use in class and use a motivational poem for the back cover.
In the future we will probably take the motivation for the front page from some
inspirational piece that we find in current events (did you see the piece about the blind
football play who played center for his high school team last night on 20/20? - that's
inspiration!). Inside on the first page of the Journal we will have a Quote of the Week.
We are going to scan our quotes, select the very 18 best, and have them be our quotes of
the week. On Mondays the students will write a page in response to the Quote of the
Week. Each of the other days of the week we will have the students respond to a prompt.
In addition, there is a spot for them to record their "Good News" for the week that we
highlight on Good News Wednesday and there is also a spot for them to record their
"victories" for the week,i.e., the times during the week that they have been successful.
On Fri the students will finish their Journal entries and hand them in to me. I will review
them over the weekend and try to get them back to the students on Mon when I will hand
them a new Journal for the next week. It is important for one to review and make
comments on what they write. If you do not, it does not become meaningful and they will
not put their best effort into it.
Each week some of the prompts will be the same like the Quote of the Week response (of
course, the quote will change), and we are planning a Free-For-All Friday page where
they may write on whatever they wish. The other days we will be changing the prompts
to match the current topic for the week.
At the end of the semester each student will have 18 Journals that they can keep in their notebooks. It is important to stress that whatever the students write in their Journal is to be kept confidential. The only ones that are involved are the student, the Journal and the instructor. If, perhaps, one of the students writes something particularly insightful (and they will) and you would like to share it with other members of the class, YOU MUST obtain that student's permission first.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?