When I began teaching “Introduction to Literature,” most of my students were not completing the readings. Various methods failed to motivate them—until the Daily Journal. For each reading from the text, students must submit a two-part journal: a personal response to the work (Why did you like/dislike it?) and a specific question about the work. Journals MUST be handed in prior to our discussion (late journals are unacceptable). Second, journals are NOT graded for grammar, etc.; students must simply do their best. Students receive 100 if the journal is handed in, zero if it is not. NO EXCEPTIONS. Now they keep up with the readings, and we have real discussions. Many journals have interesting interpretations, and I always comment on them to verify I read them. While other teachers may not want to do all of that reading every day, I find it fascinating—some of my students are quite insightful.
Suffolk County Community College–Grant Campus
Brentwood, New York
13 years teaching