Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Gerald Begy


The purpose of this study was to investigate the level of critical thinking being achieved by students given free choice over response entry type.

A class of fifth-grade students from a rural school district was instructed in the five types of journal entries. The entry types were directly instructed, modeled, and assessed for mastery. After the journal entries were mastered the study began. Once a week the whole class was given DEAR time that could also be used for writing journal entries. Each student was to choose and write one entry per week for ten weeks. Each week the entry types were tabulated and were assessed using rubrics for critical thinking/ sophistication grade.

The data showed that the journal entry type chosen most often for this study was the prediction entry, followed by pointing, memory, information, then telling entries. It was also determined that no entry type produced more sophisticated thinking than the other entry types.