Learning Logs

Purpose:
to sharpen students' ability to observe and document their learning, and to use the documentation for self-assessment and planning.

Process:
Learning logs are different from journals. Journals usually focus subjectively on personal experience, reactions, and reflections. Learning logs are more documentary records of students' work process (what they're doing); their accomplishments, ideas, or questions. They are a record of learning as it occurs. Teachers can use logs to determine what a student is learning, where they are struggling, and how they need help.

  1. Determine what will be documented and why. Is the purpose to help students observe what they're learning? Name their questions? Chronicle their achievements? Where do you want to focus their attention?
  2. Model and discuss the kinds of documentation you are looking for. Clarify the criteria for unsatisfactory, satisfactory, and excellent entries, so that the expectations are clear. This will allow you to avoid misunderstanding - logs full of one-word responses or lengthy tomes.
  3. Build regular time into the class schedule for writing in the logs, so that it becomes a predictable class ritual.
  4. Engage students in discussion and sharing based on what they've written in their logs, so that their documentation can be used for a real communicative purpose (as well as a reflective one).
  5. Have students self-assess their work based on their documented notes. What do they think they've learned? Where do they need more work?

Examples of learning logs:

Books I read

Comments

 

 
   
   
   

What we did on our project today

Comments

Next Steps

 

   
     
     
     

What we learned today

Questions I have

 

 
   
   
   

New words I learned

Where I can use these words

 

 
   
   
   

Date

What I worked on

 

 
   
   
   

Used in Teaching/Learning Example:

Conducting a Survey About Rap