Color Coding Journals
At the beginning of the school year I color code my students’ journals by putting a red, yellow, green, blue or purple sticker on the front of each journal. Then, for the rest of the school year, the students with the red stickers turn in their journals every Monday. I take these few journals home and respond personally to them. Each day, I collect different colored journals. I deliberately use colors in the order of the rainbow — red, yellow, green, blue, purple — so I never forget which color to collect which day.
This makes responding to journals much easier than collecting them all at once. I see every student’s journal each week and keep up with responses. If my students are absent or if they have something special they need me to see in their journals, they can turn them in on a day that is not their regular day. After a while, students are so familiar with the color coding that they turn in their journals without my reminding them.