farewell to paper journals

Journal writing is one of four tasks included in our MATHercise routine. My students respond to two prompts each week. I wholeheartedly believe writing is the first step toward communicating mathematically. And preparing prompts that align with our algebra curriculum is definitely on my summer "to do" list.

While my students will complete weekly journal writings, we will not be using this paper filing system any longer.

Thanks to 1:1 technology in my classroom and Penzu, my students will record their responses online. Penzu is a free online journal that is secure on the web. The journal can be kept private or you can opt to share a specific page via a link. The journal allows you to import pictures; so my students will be able to copy and paste the prompt into their journal before responding.

Now I just need to find an easy way for students to create and organize notes online. Any ideas?

Have a fabulous weekend...make it count!



  1. Lisa:
    WOW! This sounds amazing and SOOOOO sophisticated.
    Can't wait to watch this unfold... But I think I will wait until the following year to be brave and tackle something this technological. I'll enjoy watching how you do it this year though!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

    1. Hi Kim,
      I can't wait to see how this unfolds either. LOL! Partly just to let my brain rest because I'm swirling with ideas. :-)

  2. I teach high school biology, and would love to get away from notebooks for labs--how do you plan to organize them online? I'll end up with 100 freshman accounts to take a look at, and that freaks me out!! (that's what has been holding me back from going digital-not being able to keep track of them!)

    1. Hi Rhoda! Thanks for stopping by my blog! You can set up a classroom account on Penzu. And your students can post a link to an entry in their journal or email it to you. Consider using Edmodo and having them post a link to their entry as an assignment to you. Or have students label the RE: with a specific name so you can have your email automatically move those labels to a separate file. I'm investigating Evernote as well...but haven't played enough to give a suggestion just yet. Hope that helps!

    2. Thanks for the advice. I think it's doable--I think I also fear the cheating issues (copying and pasting right off the internet). I dealt with a lot of cheating last year.

      I currently use Evernote--the only way I could think of incorporating it is if you pasted every kids' link to a document on Evernote. Hm..

      PS I've given you 2 awards at my blog! Check it out if you would like to participate!