Back to school is the perfect time to introduce new activities. Journaling is a daily activity that has tremendous educational benefits. We often think about journals as writing skills - a written way to express oneself. However, there are many more reasons for journaling besides improving basic writing skills! According to the University of St. Augustine's Health Sciences, there are 10 ways that journaling benefits students.
Benefits of Daily Journals
- Improves Mental Health
- Encourages Self-Confidence
- Boosts Emotional Intelligence
- Helps with Achieving Goals
- Inspires Creativity
- Boosts Memory
- Enhances Critical Thinking Skills
- Heightens Academic Performance
- Improves Physical Health
- Strengthens Communication and Writing Skills
Fall 2021 is the perfect time to introduce journaling or to take journaling to the next level for your students. The pandemic has turned the world upside down and many students continue to grapple with all the changes. The new norm includes terms like "social distancing", "remote instruction", "masks", "hybrid instruction" and "Delta Variant". Routines have been disrupted, sports and after school activities have been eliminated, and students have been isolated. As things continue to change and a new normal continually shifts between re-opening plans and mask mandates, it is a great time for students to keep a record of what is happening in their lives and their feelings about these events.
For younger elementary students who are learning to put their ideas down on paper, provide thought-provoking prompts. Need some ideas? Waterford.org has a list of 52 journaling prompts geared for elementary students!
Day One App
Take journaling to a new level with the Day One App, a popular mainstream daily journal app that is accessible. Why a journaling app? With Day One, students can capture audio, video and images. You can tag favorite entries, search for entries and can quickly go back and locate entries by calendar date. Digital journals are "cool" according to 21st century students - students love documenting events with pictures and selfies! For elementary students, digital journaling is also a fun way to improve tech skills. National Tech Standards include creating videos, taking pictures, and incorporating these digital features into documents - why not have fun and accomplish numerous goals with one activity?!
There is a free version and a premium version of the Day One app. Note: The premium version is required for recording voice memos.
Below is a video review of the Day One app.