Reading Response Journals, or “RRJs,” are a core literacy element of my third grade classroom. My students are ALWAYS writing about their reading in meaningful ways and take so much pride in their notebooks. I have also had great success in my past years of teaching by utilizing modified versions of RRJs in both first grade and second grade.
My students have now been utilizing their RRJs for four weeks. During our small group guided reading time, we alternate between completing a Reading Response “code” to match their individual guided reading books OR completing an Interactive Graphic Organizer. At the beginning of the year, I model quality responses for the code, and then gradually release each group to complete their RRJs independently.
So far, they have completed organizers for identifying main idea/details and summarizing as shown below:
Their RRJ “code” is a bit more in depth, and requires students to think more critically about their reading. Below is a student example of a fiction RRJ code:
After students complete their codes, we meet again during guided reading for a brief “book club” discussion. Students draw sticks to take turns sharing their writing or asking one another questions based on their reading responses:
Our third graders also study one genre per month, and store “trading cards” for each genre in the back cover of their RRJs. These cards define each genre and allow students to write three examples of books within that genre. Our genre focus for September was Realistic Fiction, and our current genre focus for October is Mystery.
To purchase the Interactive Reading Response Journal organizers shown above along with MANY more, please visit the following link:
Below, you will find links to customized Reading Response Journal “Codes” for first, second, third, and fourth grades: