Lower Elementary students plan their work with Learning Journals in their classroom, which provides structure and allows for individually tailored expectations as well as a communicative tool for each student. This planner gives students the opportunity to take part in understanding and planning their “work.” The planner is a written study plan or guide for the day or week. At various grade levels, students and teachers work together to develop the work plans. This allows students the opportunity to understand the expectations and be responsible for completion of their work. The planner lists the basic tasks that they need to complete while allowing them to decide how long to spend on each and what order they would like to follow. Beyond the basic assignments, students research and explore topics that capture their interest and imagination under the direction of the teacher. Often, students engage in extended research of topics related to cultural study or a particular student’s interest. Through this process, each student understands the work he/she will accomplish during the week. This supports assisting students to “own” their learning, an important skill that differentiates the Kingsley student.
The Learning Journals also have a spot for a week-long personal goal. This can be social or academic goals such as to finish reading a book that a child had started, sit with a different person every day, or practice the Bead Frame every day.