Independent reading is an integral part of developing a lifelong learner. The Double-Sided Journal, sometimes called a Double-Entry Journal, is an organized system for responding to independent reading.
Choice is critical when motivating a reader. Students should have free choice over which book and which genre they read, provided it is appropriate for school and approved by their parent.
Their interests should guide them just like how your interests guide you.
Choice is also important when writing responses. The Lifelong Learner’s Double-Sided Journal details a dozen possible response combinations. Text Information forces students to work with the reading in a literal way. Summaries focus students on main idea and supporting details. Listing quotes or copying a passage identifies a key event or an important development. The Reader Response choices are analytical and require students to interpret or make judgments. Whether asking questions of an author, making text-to-self or text-to-text connections, or disagreeing with a character’s decisions, students access higher-level thinking skills each time they complete an entry.
This system is not designed to replace instruction in the classroom. Students need reinforcement in the skill sets that enhance comprehension, fluency, decoding, vocabulary, and analysis. The Double-Sided Journal gives teachers a clear framework to monitor progress, engagement, and growth while students rediscover a love of reading.