Monday, September 17, 2012

What the Heck is an RRJ?

We're using RRJs in my building this year to build writing and reading comprehension skills... and so far, the kids are loving them!

What's an RRJ you ask?  They are our Reading Response Journals!

Our kiddos used regular composition books and decorated the covers:

We used binder clips to put reading logs in the front of each RRJ.  The kiddos can remove and turn in their reading logs when filled and then add a new one by clipping it inside.  They have to write the date, title, genre, check the strategy they are writing about, number of pages, and AR color.

Each student also has a reference page on the first page of their RRJ.  I copied mine on yellow paper so they stand out.  The reference page explains how to fill out the RRJ and gives a list of genre definitions because they have to include the genre on each RRJ entry.

Right now, we have only learned how to summarize.  We read a few books together and did oral summaries.  Then we read and wrote a summary together.  Then I read the kids a book and each kid wrote their own summary on a half sheet of paper- this way they have the definition of the strategy and an example of what they are supposed to do.  They glued them in their RRJs.  They must also write their name, date, book title, genre, and strategy at the top of each RRJ entry.

Now my kiddos are summarizing on their own.  They summarize their reading each night Monday-Thursday and I read them during their specials and give a little note of feedback.  They love coming in to find their RRJs on their desks to see what I've said to them!

That particular little lady is quite the writer- most of my kids are doing a small paragraph of about 5-7 sentences.  They have LOVED doing their RRJs so far and I am excited about introducing more strategies in the future so they can have their choice of what to write about!

Hooray!  My first "meaty" post since school has started... YES!

*Addition on 9/20/12- the pack for RRJs is available to purchase!  Click HERE for more info!*


  1. This sounds like a fantastic idea! I like this a whole lot better than having student simply record the number of minutes they've spent reading each night. This is a great way for them to build comprehension skills and strengthen their writing. I'm glad to hear that the students are enjoying it as well!

    The REAL Teachers of Orange County

  2. I just posted about "RRJ's". So glad you use the same term!

    Chickadee Jubilee

  3. What an excellent activity for the kids! I am requiring my students to write an SOS (summary, opinion and support). I forget where I found this idea but somehow I have a copy of the page without the book name or website of where it came from. My students have this as part of their weekly reading expectations. The first two weeks we practiced together, this week I will review with my students during their reading groups.
    Isn't it nice to be able to have an activity that the students enjoy!?!
    Where Seconds Count

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  5. I would love to try out RRJ's this year! Thanks for letting us know how you get them up and running! Written summaries are tricky for my kids and is a skill that needs much more practice!

    Creative Lesson Cafe

  6. Would love to grab these forms! Any chance of offering them as a freebie or in your shop?

  7. My kiddos have a literacy journal. They Respond to Reading after they do Read to Self, Read to Someone and Listening to Reading. I start a chart with different ideas... summaries, connections, leveled responses. The most important thing to me is their 'evidence'. I started this two years ago and I love seeing how they think about reading since day 1 :)
    My Second Sense


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