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A learning log is an educational tool which is designed to enhance the learning experience for children, while facilitating exchanges between students and teachers. Learning logs are used in schools all over the world, and there are a number of different approaches to them. In addition to being used in conventional school environments, learning logs can also be very beneficial to homeschoolers and other students pursuing non-traditional education.
A typical learning log takes the form of a notebook which belongs to the student, and can be used in a variety of ways. For example, students might be asked to take five minutes at the end of class to write in their learning logs about what they learned. This provides an opportunity for students to organize their thoughts, and to generate questions which they might have about the day's lesson. Learning logs can also be used for taking notes, or for responding to reading, class prompts, and other forms of input.
Teachers and students can work together with a learning log to set clear goals and to document the processes used to accomplish those goals. For example, at the beginning of the semester, a student might sit down with a teacher and generate a list of topics which he or she should be familiar with by the end of the semester. Learning logs can also be used to document out of class experiences, which students can use to illustrate learning experiences which occur beyond the school yard.
Teachers may periodically inspect a student's learning log, to read responses and see areas where the student may need improvement or assistance. For example, a student struggling in a science class might not be outspoken about the issue, but his or her learning log could show that the student was failing to grasp concepts, or was left with many questions at the end of each class. Having documentation of this issue would allow the teacher to customize a response to the student to help him or her improve.
Parents may also be involved with a learning log. Some learning logs include documentation of homework assignments, which parents can use to monitor their children and confirm that they are doing all of their homework. Teachers may also specifically ask students to work with their parents at home on a project which will be documented in a learning log, and learning logs can be used to send home tests and other student materials for parents to inspect and sign off on to indicate that they have seen the material.
It's not necessary to be a student to keep a learning log. Anyone involved in a learning experience can find a logbook helpful, from a carpenter's apprentice to someone learning coding. The log can be used just like a school log, to set goals and monitor progress, and in the long term, it can be a very beneficial document because it will allow the log-keeper to clearly see how he or she has progressed.
My children are in an alternative high school where they are very self-directed. They really like the learning log as a form of communication not only with their advisors, but also with their business mentors.
Not only can they keep track of progress and things that need attention, but it makes them feel good when the advisor or mentor gives them a kudos that is then shared for all to see.
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