Five Minute Journal – Explanation and Rationale

Explanation and rationale for implementation of Five Minute Journal.

Monday – Set a weekly goal I introduce this as a chance to identify a S.M.A.R.T. goal for themselves for that specific week. Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Realistic. Timely. I often help students modify or rephrase their goal as I move around the room. Considering that this has always been and always will be an ungraded and essentially optional activity, I am always impressed by how many students work to actively revise their goal.

Tuesday – Daily Gratitude What are you thankful for? What is something that happened that you are happy about? What is something that you are looking forward to, that you are thankful for? This gives students a chance to find the positive in their world. It is a great chance for them to remind themselves that no matter how horrible yesterday, last night, this morning or even last hour was, there is still something for which to be thankful for.

Wednesday – Daily Affirmation We use this space as a statement of purpose, and a chance for self support. Apathy is a huge obstacle for our students, and for many, a career of failure in the “traditional” educational system has left them feeling unable of achievement or personal success. The Daily Affirmation is a chance to pick something, anything, that they want to be true about themselves and say it is so. At first students were skeptical about this action, but the act of writing encouragement to yourself can do wonders for self confidence.

Thursday – What would make today great? Given the point in the week, this is a chance for students to think positively in the short term. While this can serve as a goal, it can also serve as a chance for students to reflect on their efficacy. Given that many students face instability caused by others in their lives, this is a chance to identify, engage with and share something positive that they can control.

Friday – Weekly Goal Reflection Friday is an especially important day as it allows for students to take part in a reflection on the goal they set for themselves on Monday. The goal reflection is important, as students are able to self assess their progress. This is also a chance for them to assess their goal setting, and determine if they were setting a SMART goal for themselves to accomplish this week.


Five Minute Journal – Intelligent Change